web analytics
August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


A Legacy of Achdus

Iris Yifrach, mother of Eyal Yifrach HY"D, speaking at a massive rally in Tel Aviv on Sunday, June 29, 2014.

Iris Yifrach, mother of Eyal Yifrach HY"D, speaking at a massive rally in Tel Aviv on Sunday, June 29, 2014.
Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

My thoughts today are with the families of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel. My heart goes out to them. There are no words that can adequately express the magnitude of national grief the Jewish world feels right now. That grief is universal. It doesn’t matter where you stand in your religiosity. It doesn’t even matter if you are entirely secular… or even a non-believer. We are all one people today. As we have been since these three  young souls were kidnapped.

Inevitably when tragedies like this happen there is a sudden burst of Achdus. Tragedies unite. I recall the exact same thing happened a few years ago when eight Yeshiva students were massacred in Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav, a Religious Zionist Yeshiva named for Rav Kook.

There was no left. There was no right. There was just the Jewish people suffering pain. This is the same pain we all feel today as Israel buries these three young victims of terror. I expect there to be a massive attendance at the combined funeral. Prime Minster Netanyahu has already said he will attend. It would not surprise me if one or more of the Charedi rabbinic leaders attended too, if they are physically able to. One may recall That Rav Elayshiv attended the funeral of the 8 murdered Merkaz HaRav boys.

There has been a lot of public reaction to these murders by prominent Jewish organizations: The Agudah, the OU, Young Israel, and the Wiesenthal Center just to name a few. There is also a lot of discussion about how we should view this event and how the Jewish nation should respond to this if at all. But that is not my issue today. I leave that to others.

My issue is what will happen to the Achdus we have just been a part of. There has been a lot of talk about the unity that this brought about. Rav Chaim Kanievsky said the following – quoted in Matzav:

When his grandson told him the news, Rav Chaim was devastated. He remained silent for a while. He then remarked that the “boys were zocheh to tremendous merits with the chizuk, hisorerus and kabbalos that were undertaking because of them.” Rav Chaim repeated several times that “this is a very big zechus.”

Rav Chaim added that “all the tefillos were not for naught,” because no tefillah goes unheard or to waste.

May the achdus generated by the weeks of communal chizuk and kabbalos continue to unite Klal Yisroel and be a zechus for the ultimate yeshuah b’karov.

Coming from one of the biggest Charedi rabbinic leaders in Israel that is quite a statement. Remember that these boys were Religious Zionist Yeshiva students.

I wish I could be as optimistic about the future. But I’m afraid experience has taught me otherwise. Once these young boys are buried, we will all go back to our own personal agendas. And the angry rhetoric will resume. Achdus will end as quickly as it began. Other Hashkafos will be denigrated and vilified – one side against the other.  The name calling will resume. Words like Amalek and parasite will rear their ugly heads again. I’m sure of it.

And this saddens me. We had one shining moment where we were all one – albeit in tragedy. Why can’t we just continue that? Why must we all think ill of the other? Why can’t there be more of us judging the other side favorably? We all see the problems with the other side. But we all have our own problems too. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all recognized that? Why must the other side be de-legitimized and vilified?

Why must we look down at a Hashkafa that is not our own? This is not to say that our disagreements should be forgotten or ignored.  When one has sincere convictions we ought to defend them vigorously. But that same passion that accompanies it all too often spills over into venomous hatred of those on the other side. It ought not to be that way. Believing in our Hashkafos passionately need not mean we must vilify those with whom we disagree..

Wouldn’t it be nice, for example, if Rav Chaim Kanievsky would have said the same kind words about living Religious Zionists students as he did about the 3 murdered ones? He doesn’t have to agree with their Hashkafos to do that. He can be diametrically opposed to Religious Zionism. But if he only said that those who learn in Religious Zionist Yeshivos like Merkaz Harav are the same Kodshim and Taharim as those who learn in Charedi yeshivas… that they study the same Torah and follow the same Halachos as Charedim even if their Minhagim and Hashkafos are different…  if he would only say something like: it doesn’t really matter whether a Kipa is velvet or crocheted – Elu V’Elu Divrei Elkoim Chaim – what an impact that would make!

It is also high time we look at our secular brothers more favorably. I don’t think the Frum world gives them enough credit. Let us not forget what happened in Kikar Rabin a couple of days ago. Or in the Kenesset shortly before that. We all prayed for the same result – each in our own way. Our secular brothers are not the enemy.  They are our brothers and to be warmly welcomed into our world. We must respect them too… and never try and shove religion down their throats.  Because that pushes them away from us. We must appreciate them for who they are too… and learn from them just as we hope they learn from us.

So I now offer my prayer. May the unity we now experience via the Zechus of these 3 murdered boys continue. Let us not fall back into a pattern of enmity and vilification. Let us all get along even while we fight for what we believe.  Yes, let us fight. But with respect and with dignity – without the rancor.

Let not the deaths of these three teenagers be in vain. Let them retain the legacy of Achdus. Let us learn to respect one another even while we disagree. It will be a much better world. Who knows? It might even bring Moshiach a little closer.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah . / Harry Maryles

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Legacy of Achdus”

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Graffiti found on the burned home in the village of Duma.
Security Cabinet Classifies Duma Arson as Terror Attack
Latest Blogs Stories
Doug Goldstein

What is the impact of renouncing US citizenship if you live abroad? Can you visit the US again?

Flag of Norway

Gentile friends of Israel came from all over Norway & Europe and they sang “Hatikva” in Norwegian!

Anti-violence protest in Tel Aviv

As the incitement begins again against the settlers, the religious and the Right, let’s review the list of children killed by terrorists.

Inside of the home burned in the Prce Tag attack in the village of Duma.

Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.

In all the years (and this week it’s exactly 14 years) since our daughter was murdered, we have not found a single Arabic-language post, article, tweet or speech condemning that attack in the center of Jerusalem or the killings.

Everyone is angry at the ongoing Arab terrorism, but what does murdering a baby have to do with protecting Jewish lives or furthering Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel?

Tonight, live Meerkat interactive video tour and talk in Jerusalem.

The US doesn’t want Pollard & he doesn’t want America- release him with 1 condition: No return to US

Meet Republican US presidential candidate Kerry Bowers & listen to his message to the Israeli public

Amongst the Palestinians (sic) what is promoted and praised for its young people? Terror & martyrdom

“If you can’t negotiate with your enemy, why negotiate at all?” Great sound bite. The press loved it

The phenomenon pushing limits of Orthodoxy to the extreme left has no chance of becoming mainstream

Discussing, what should you do if you are feeling overstressed in your job and are tempted to quit?

Considering Esther Pollard’s group mismanaged his case, Pollard’s chances of parole are slim

Detention Camps for US Jews? Sounds farfetched but it did to Japanese-Americans during WW II as well

We asked the soldiers, what will you tell your children you did during the Disengagement?

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Woman_rabbi

The phenomenon pushing limits of Orthodoxy to the extreme left has no chance of becoming mainstream

open orthodoxy

There needs to be clarity about what is & isn’t acceptable in Orthodoxy; That should be the debate.

Imperative to get world’s Jewish billionaires to support Jewish education like their other projects

No legitimate Orthodox body in the States or Israel accepts “Open Orthodoxy.” They went too far.

Obama is not anti Israel. He’s just misguided, perhaps blinded by his desire to force a peace treaty

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah} The inevitable finally happened. Rabbi Avi Weiss has dispensed with his prior refusal to call his female ordainees ‘rabbis’.  I challenged him to stop dancing around that title with made up titles  (like Raba and Maharat) and he finally rose to the challenge. His motivation in not […]

Existence requires meaning. Believing all random and without meaning is a horrible fate for mankind

People see a healthy parochial school system vs an anemic public school system and draw conclusions

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/a-legacy-of-achdus/2014/07/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: