The 2020 Olympics have secured their place in history.
The games currently being contested in Tokyo, Japan are unprecedented, having been delayed one year due to the cloud of COVID-19. For the Jewish homeland of Israel, these games are historical for an entirely different reason.
After nearly 50 years, the “Munich 11,″ Israeli team members who were taken hostage and murdered by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September at the 1972 Olympics, finally received their moment of silence at this year’s opening ceremony.
“I welcome the important and historic moment. May their memory be blessed,” wrote Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Twitter.
Better late than never, but it still doesn’t excuse the fact that it is a Shanda (Yiddish for shame and disgrace) that it took half a century for the International Olympic Committee to permit this poignant moment to take place.
Denied the opportunity to compete and win on the biggest stage in sports in the name of their beloved Israel, glory has come at long last for these late athletes and their surviving family members.
Athletes who continue to make themselves bigger than the game itself, as well as disgrace their native nations and flags, can learn so much by honoring their memory this year and beyond.
Andrea (Milstone) Dray, who lives in Yokneam, Israel, is elated that the slain athletes received this necessary honor.
“It’s a very welcome show of respect decades overdue. I do wonder though what if the stadium was filled with not only those who would have supported it but also those who might not have.
“Japan did the right thing and certainly made a statement by doing so. Small actions lead to big changes and who knows, maybe a moment of silence for the Israeli victims will be given at the opening ceremonies of every Olympics to come. We can hope. Hope is always good,” she said.
During this year’s games, Israeli Avishag Semberg, 19, won bronze in the taekwondo event the day following the ceremony. Perhaps in her own way, she was honoring those who could not reach their ultimate goal.
This erev Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 6 falls on the 49th anniversary of the massacre at Munich. Honor the victims by saying a special prayer for those who were lost on that day.
Email your thoughts to Editor Alan Goch at email@example.com.