Sunday, October 3, 2010

How Little Things Have Changed…

Perusing the weekly Shabbat handout before the start of yesterday’s minyan at my congregation, I noticed the list of people whose memorial lamps had been lit in the sanctuary the night before.  As a still fairly new member in a synagogue of almost 1600 families, I was not familiar with most of the names.  I was, however, familiar with this one:  Leon Klinghoffer.

You remember him, too, I’m sure.  Wheelchair-bound following a series of strokes, he and his wife Marilyn cruised on the ill-fated Achille Lauro in 1985 to celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary.  While in the Mediterranean, the ship was hijacked by four members of the Palestine Liberation Front, and Klinghoffer was shot and his body thrown overboard.  Last year, Youssef Magied Al-Molqui, the terrorist convicted in the hijacking and shooting of Klinghoffer was released early from a Sicilian prison, having served 23 years of a 30-year sentence.

Ironically, this news item appears in today’s online edition of the New York Times. How little, it seems, things have changed in 25 years…