This is an excerpt from “I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl” (2004), edited by Judea and Ruth Pearl. Ruth Pearl died July 20, 2021 at the age of 85.
Remembering Ruth Pearl, mother of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, and ‘strength incarnate’ who died July 20 at age 85
Judea Pearl speaks about the fight to keep his son Danny Pearl’s killer in prison in Pakistan
Einat Wilf and Ehud Barak announce defection from Labor Party, January 17, 2011 / Wikimedia Commons
Those who came to hear Judea Pearl speak last night at an event sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center‘s Museum of Tolerance might have expected to be offered an array of numbers, shown detailed charts or even be given a sense of whether anti-Semitism was getting better or worse. Instead, he handed them something else entirely.
Some of the final words spoken by Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl before he was beheaded by Islamic terrorists in Pakistan — “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish” — are inscribed on the tombstone of Mayor Edward Koch, who led New York City from 1978–1989. So too is the Shema prayer, in Hebrew and English; a Star of David, and the words “He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith.”