Please, Leave Me Be

by Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman

If you are seeking from me words of comfort and consolation you will not find them.
If you are reading this in order for you gain some sort of insightful understanding of the tragic events then I advise you to stop reading.
This missive will not be one of comfort and consolation.
If you are looking at me as the rabbi who undoubtedly has the proper response and is able to theologically articulate and make sense out of the tragedy, then you will be utterly disappointed.
I have no words of comfort.
I offer no consolation.
I have no insight and no comprehension.
I am numbed and I am left wondering and wandering in my grief and my loneliness.
I cannot see the ‘good’ in this and I cannot comprehend the ways of the creator and certainly not of some of His creations.
I cannot and hope to never be able to understand how a human being can murder three innocent human beings with the justification that they are following the word of their (imaginary) ‘god’?
I cannot fathom the level of cruelty and savagery a person must lower themselves to in order to murder a child in cold-blood.
However, alas, it has occurred.
I am angry and I am confused.
I am pained and I am mourning.
I feel lost and alone and abandoned.
The only passuk which comes to my mind is the one said by Iyov (Job) so many years ago:
“If I have sinned, what have I done to You (why does it bother You so much)?
You (Hashem) who have created me, why do you make me the target of your wrath?”

(Iyov 7:20)
I am sorry to disappoint those of you who were searching for answers and consolation in the words of the rabbi; however, I too am human and my heart aches just as yours.
Today I have no answers.
Today I have no comfort.
Today I have no comprehension or insight.
Today I just have tears;
Tears for Naftali, for Gilad and for Eyal
However, most of all I cry for their parents who as they attempt to sleep tonight, they now know that their lives will never be the same.
The laughter of their sons will never return.
All of us will thankfully eventually return back to our normal, mundane lives.
However, for the three parents of the boys they have reached a period of no return.
You may see them next month or next year; you may see them in fifty years; the pain will always be there; the emptiness will never be filled.
Please do not turn to me for answers today.
Please let me be as is; please don’t ask me any questions.
The only questions I feel I can relate to today are the ones asked many years ago by Dovid himself:
“How long, O Lord will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long will I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart by day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand over me?”
(Tehillim 13:2, 3)
When the answers to these questions become known there will be no more questions which need answering.
May that day arrive soon.

“If Not Now, Then When?”- Hillel

Ron Yitzchok Eisenman is the Rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Israel, Passaic, NJ

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3 Responses

  1. Nechama says:

    Thank you for expressing our pain so well. We don’t need answers. There is no answer for such cruelty. We are family, and we’re crying.

  2. cvmay says:

    Answers are not usually sufficient.
    & Validating the pain, sorrow and tears is what is needed at this moment.

    Thank you Rabbi Eisenman.

  3. Yaakov Lieber ben Yosef says:

    Elegantly expressed. Thank you for your words.

    Rabbi Maurice Lamm in “Consolation”, Rav Aryeh Levin in Zichron Meir, and now yourself have helped me immensely in this impossible area.

    Bitachon will eventually get me through, I know. I can’t help but feel childish and selfish in wanting to know “Why?”, yet having to be adult and just wait, impatiently.

    Perhaps we should read Ani Ma’amin differently, with modern Hebrew emphasis. Perhaps the end should be read
    “Achakeh lo b’chol yom. SHE’YAVO!

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