Update Dec 7, 2015: While initial new reports noted that Nicholas was a Messianic Jew, he had indicated on his Facebook page that he is a Gentile who loves and feels a close connection the Jewish people. He was a faithful member of a Messianic congregation. A Facebook friend wrote, “It is my honest belief that Nicholas was murdered because of his alliance with Israel and Jewish people.”
Our hearts go out to all the victims of the horrific shootings in San Bernardino, California, but in particular we pray for the family of Nicholas Thalasinos. Nicholas was a 52 year-old Messianic Jew who worked with the attacker, Syed Farook, at a social services center.
Officials in the U.S. are hesitant, or reluctant, to call the shootings “terrorism.” Whether you use that term or “Islamic Jihad”, we in Israel know exactly what it is because we live with it every day.
At this point there is no definitive evidence whether Mr. Thalasinos was specifically singled out by the shooters over his beliefs and something he might have said. His wife Jennifer said that her husband “was very outspoken about ISIS and all of these radicalized Muslims.” (ibtimes) The day before the shootings someone posted an online threat against Nicholas that included, “you will die and never see Israel.” (philly.com)
Isaiah 49:6 says: “I’ll make you as a light to the nations, so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” We pray, as we near Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, which starts the evening of December 6, that even through this tragedy God’s light will shine in the darkness to the ends of the earth.
Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world
which He has created according to His will.
May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days,
and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon;
and say, Amen.
May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored,
adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,
beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that
are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
He who creates peace in His celestial heights,
may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
(Kaddish, the traditional Jewish prayer of mourning)