Rabbi Neil Amswych of Bournemouth Reform Synagogue reflects on the death of Osama Bin Laden asking how do we, as Jews, respond to the death of a mass murderer.
How do I respond to the death of Osama Bin Laden? Not being an expert on the workings of Al Qaida, I obviously cannot know how significant his death is in the terrorist movement that has been responsible for thousands of deaths worldwide. Is Al Qaida a Hydra that gets stronger every time a head is removed? Or is it a movement whose rapid growth based around one man’s ideology will be matched by its rapid demise as he dies? Of course, the Hydra was killed even though it grew stronger and, of course, even if Al Qaida dies it doesn’t mean the end to terrorism, but the point is that few of us can know what effect this world-changing death will have. So instead of pontificating about the effects on the movement, we can at least discuss how we react to the death of a terrorist from a Jewish perspective.