The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis — condemns the kidnapping and cold-blooded murder of 19-year-old Dvir Sorek which occurred near Efrat in Israel. His body was found near Kibbutz Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion.

Dvir Sorek was “the cornerstone” of the Machanaim Yeshiva where he studied and was a much-loved member of the institution. The dean of the yeshiva, Rabbi Shlomo Vilk, said that Dvir Sorek was “a kind and gentle person” who was concerned for the environment and was kind to “every living thing.” Palestinian Authority media outlets have reported that several days prior to the murder, a known Hamas terrorist in the Hevron area was reported missing, possibly indicating he may have been involved in the planning and execution of the attack

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, condemned this “brutal and senseless murder” and called on every decent, peace-loving person to condemn “terror, violence and the shedding of innocent blood.” Mirocznik further stated that the Rabbinical Alliance of America fully supports Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon in his urging the world body to condemn the murder of Dvir Sorek in a terrorist attack.

In a letter addressed to Poland’s U.N. Ambassador of the Security Council, Ambassador Danon pushed the body to condemn the stabbing to death of Dvir Sorek, 19, a Yeshiva student and Israel Defense Forces recruit, and to stop the payment of salaries to Palestinian terrorists.

“The attack and its glorification are the direct result of the Palestinian leadership’s ongoing policy of educating and incentivizing its youth to kill Jews throughout Israel,” Danon wrote in the letter. “I call upon the Security Council to condemn in the strongest terms possible this sickening act of terror immediately, unequivocally and in the strongest terms possible. It is the duty of the Council to put an urgent stop to all Palestinian incitement efforts.”

Mirocznik remarked that the Rabbinical Alliance of America is in full agreement with Ambassador Danon and the group of rabbis “urges the international community to condemn this attack and to hold accountable all those who incited, abetted and supported this terrorist stabbing of Dvir Sorek. We further call upon the world to immediately terminate the sick, twisted reward of pay to slay grants which are paid by the Palestinian Authority.”

Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, presidium chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, noted “that this egregious murder of Dvir Sorek occurred days before Tisha B’av, which commemorates the destruction of both Temples following a 3-week period of national Jewish mourning. This heinous murder makes this year’s Tisha B’av even more bitter for the Jewish people.” Rabbi Hecht therefore requests that “all members of the Jewish faith take upon themselves to engage in extra acts of kindness as a meaningful way to grieve the loss of Dvir Sorek. It is only through becoming better people can we make a better world where, with the Almighty’s help, only peace and tranquility will be found.”

May He who makes peace in His Heavens may He Make Peace on this earth and may terror, bloodshed and violence be known no more.