A Poignant Note From Israel

With all of us having family and friends in Israel, it is not particularly difficult to commiserate with them, to be נושא בעול of our brothers and sisters. With all that we have heard, I found this note from the front lines moving, and figured that our readers would as well. It was penned by Yosef Feuerstein, son of my friend Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Feuerstein of Teaneck.

Good morning folks! Here’s a run down of how close to home these terror attacks have gotten. Today, Allie took a cab to work, as they have become safer measure than busses. The very bus line Allie generally takes to work everyday was boarded by terrorists this morning who shot and stabbed multiple passengers before they were eliminated. And then again, another attack right near her office only an hour or so later. Yesterday there was a stabbing just outside my office in Binyan klal, and panic ensued as there was confusion if the terrorist had run into my office building in an attempt to escape (or kill a few more). Ironically my building is the headquarters for the Israeli police in the area. Talk about bad karma… Needless to say the terrorist did not make it very far.

This stuff is as real as it gets.

Very tense feeling in the streets, everyone on edge and the tension is palpable. It does remind me that Yaakov only received the title “Yisrael” after he had to physically fight and endanger himself to protect his family against the Malach of Eisav. Bottom line – even after his many years of tzidkus and Torah, only when he put himself on the line for others, did he receive the title Yisrael. It is a name we are lucky to be born with.

But make no mistake – it is a title to be earned.

Today I feel like we here in Israel, on the ground, are earning that title. To live in fear and still feel that there is no where else on earth we’d rather be. If our people are going to suffer, then so are we. And we’ll do it with strength and honor because ultimately it is our relationship with HKBH that makes us the target.
And that’s something we won’t give up for anything in the world.

Never felt more committed to HaShem.

[Thanks to Harvey Tannenbaum of Efrat who gets the news to his friends in Chu”l faster than the official sites, and once again provides readers of Cross-Currents with important reading.]

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12 Responses

  1. Ben Waxman says:

    Here is how Rav Chayim Navon put it (my translation of his Facebook post):

    25 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 26 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled with him.

    The evil person who struggled with Yaacov sees that he can’t beat him. He already knows that he won’t win, however he tries to at least wound Yaacov, and his scheme works. However, Yaacov doesn’t give in; wounded and bleeding, he continues to fight until sunrise, and wins.

    I’ve been living in Israel for 42 years. I’ve seen many waves of terrorism and murder. I don’t remember ever seeing such a determined response from the public. Soldiers, policemen, and (even) ordinary citizens are not fleeing from the murderers, aren’t giving in; rather, they’re fighting the terrorists, with weapons or sticks or with their bare hands. Fighting with clenched teeth against these evil people, and getting them (dead or alive).
    When the sun rose, Yaacov’s adversary had to agree that Yaacov won: ‘Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed.’

  2. Yechiel Mashiach says:

    If the Chareidi really cared about secular Jews in Israel then instead of investing effort in cleaning up secular Jew’s blood and limbs off the wall and floor for burial after a terrorist attack they could (perhaps) join in the army & security forces to prevent attacks in the first place? Moshe Rabeinu was noseh b’ol! He risked his life for his brothers!

    • Yossie says:

      While I agree all should serve in the army, with the exception of active Yeshiva students during their studies, we should be in awe of the hardships and dedication of the many Charedi first responders and ZAKA.

    • Baruch says:

      It’s funny, I was thinking that we finally realize that we can’t put our faith in the army’s strength and efforts. I don’t know where you live, but here in Jerusalem, no one feels secure. It’s exceedingly difficult to prevent attacks, at most the responders can react super fast. However if a stabbing will be fatal or miss by a millimeter, or there’d be less willingness by the terrorists to risk their own lives, or a host of other factors is not dependent on more personnel. It’s dependent on the lomdei torah! Torah is a magen.
      And I’m disappointed that you’ve chosen to disregard Hatzolah and the myriad other chareidi volunteer rescue services in order to bring some political point. In these trying times we need to be together and appreciate what each part brings to the table.

      • Yechiel Mashiach says:

        Let’s meet half-way? How about the Chareid still learn Gemara in Yeshiva all day, but are as well trained to shoot guns. I think if Yerushalayim had (at least)10,000 Chareid men carrying guns it would do a lot toward curbing terrorists attacks.

      • Ben Waxman says:

        I am assuming that everyone in this discussion demanding that Chareidim serve in Zahal has also served or their kids are/will be in the army?

      • Baruch says:

        I admire the spirit of compromise, and I think it’s wonderful that we can be having this conversation. Clearly however the first move would be to have all civilians armed. It’s very difficult to get permits in this country, that needs to change.

      • Nachum says:

        Do you have any idea how much the army and police are protecting you?

      • Baruch says:

        I didn’t intend to minimize the army’s contributions and efforts in any way.

  3. Raymond says:

    With the horribly savage attacks against us Jews in our own Jewish homeland being committed everywhere and anywhere on a daily basis by the islamoNazi savages, it is abundantly clear to me that they are the Amalek of our times, and thus we need to show no mercy whatsoever in doing what needs to be done to those enemies of G-d. Anything short of that, and the terror attacks will continue.

  4. lacosta says:

    only 2 peoples have ‘el’ in their name–us and the cousins. they only have 5 mitzvot to our 613. but their religion is islam–submission — and their name ‘yishma’ –they will listen. alas, they are makpid in theirs, especially kavod beis tfilla. we better be better at those mitzvot than they are. we are ‘yisra’ , fighting struggling and contentious.especially with each other. and ultimately tzion is redeemed thru mishpat and tzedaka, bein adam lechaveiro…

    • Nachum says:

      There’s a really funny video on Youtube (in English, meant for American Muslims) called “how to behave in masjid” [mosque]. It seems as if Muslims have the same exact issues as we do with talking in shul and a whole bunch of other related topics. Apparently “kavod beis tfilla” is not a given among them. And I’m not even bringing up how they treat other peoples’ houses of worship- or even their own, witness, e.g., what they do to Al Aqsa itself.

      A visit to their supposed “holy place” of the Har HaBayit will dispel any ideas that they treat their holy places with respect.

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