web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



In Memoriam: For These I Cry

Gustman.jpg

Guest Post by Rabbi Dovid Landesman

Rav Yisrael Z’ev Gustman, zt”l (1908-1991), was among the greatest Torah personalities of the previous generation. He was the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Netzach Yisrael in Crown Heights for many years and in the 1970’s moved his yeshiva to Yerushalayim.

Rav Gustman was renown in the Torah world as an outstanding Torah scholar, having served from the age of twenty on the beit din of Rav Chaim Oizer Grodzinski in Vilna. His career was cut short by the outbreak of WWII. He hid from the Nazis and eventually became a partisan, surviving the war along with his wife and a daughter.

Rav Gustman’s yeshiva in Rechavia was somewhat off the beaten track and he learned with a small group of dedicated students. On Thursdays, when he said his shiur k’lali, the beit midrash would fill, welcoming prominent rabbanim and maggidei shiurim, dayanim, a member of the Israeli Supreme Court and many professors and academics anxious to hear the Torah of a survivor of the world that had been destroyed. One of the regular participants in this shiur was a faculty member from Hebrew University, Professor Robert (Yisrael) Auman who would be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2005.

In June 1982, war broke out and Israel attacked Lebanon seeking to destroy the PLO infrastructure that had its base there. Among the soldiers called for reserve duty was Shlomo Auman, a graduate of Yeshivat Sha’alvim and a student at Hebrew U. Shlomo was killed in battle on the 19th of Sivan, 5742 leaving a wife and two children – one born after he died.

Rav Gustman brought his entire yeshiva to the levayah (funeral). At the cemetery, he was clearly agitated , surveying the rows of kevarim (graves) of the soldiers who had died in defense of the land. On the way back from the funeral, he told one of his talmidim: “They are kedoshim.” A second student questioned him: “Even the ones who were not observant?” Rav Gustman replied: “Every single one of them.”

Turning to the driver, Rav Gustman asked to be taken to Professor Auman’s home. He sat down next to Professor Auman who said: “Rabbi, I very much appreciate your participating in the levayah, but you need not have come now.”

Rav Gustman replied; “I am sure that you do not know this, but I had a son named Meir who was killed during the war. He was a beautiful child and he was taken from my arms and executed. I managed to escape and took his shoes and bartered them for food for the rest of my family. My Meir is a kadosh – he and all of the other six million who perished al kiddush Hashem.”

“Let me tell you what is going on in Heaven at this moment,” Rav Gustman continued.” My Meir is welcoming your Shlomo to the minyan in Gan Eden and is saying to him, ‘I died because I am a Jew, but I wasn’t able to save anyone else. But you, Shlomo, you died defending our people and our Land! You Shlomo will be our shaliach tzibbur!’

“I never had the chance to sit shivah for my Meir,” Rav Gustman concluded. “Let me sit here with you for just a bit longer.”

Professor Auman replied: “I did not think that I could be comforted, but Rebbi, you have comforted me.”

*** Lt. Col. Emmanuel Morenu hy”d was among the soldiers killed in the war in Lebanon against Hizbollah. Most of his personal story remains classified; in fact, the IDF to this day prohibits publication of his photograph. We do know that he was a graduate of the yeshiva in Eli, served as commander of Sayeret Matkal, the top commando unit in the Israeli army, and was posthumously awarded the country’s top medal.

During the shiva, an officer from his unit – non-observant – came to console his widow. He had been with Emmanuel shortly before he was killed. Waiting for a helicopter to take them into the combat zone, they discussed what might transpire and what their response would be. Two weeks before, a Hizbollah rocket had hit an IDF copter killing all five soldiers aboard.

“What would you do if God forbid our helicopter is hit and you realize that you have five seconds left to live before the helicopter explodes?” Emmanuel asked.

“I don’t know. I’m sure that I would be frightened, close my eyes and hope that it end quickly with little pain.”

“What I would do, and so should you, is recite Shema.”

“I looked at him,” the officer continued, “and said, ‘what good would that do? In a minute the helicopter is going to explode and you’re going to die!’”

“Emmanuel responded with a statement that will remain with me for as long as I live. ‘If a person has five seconds to live and he believes that there is still purpose to life and is motivated by the consequences that will be known in the world to come, then his life has meaning. But if he doesn’t realize that those five seconds mean something, then it is possible that his entire life was meaningless for he doesn’t understand that this
world is but a stage on our way to the next.’”
***
Today is Yom ha-Zikaron. Please join me in begging the Ribbono shel Olam that no more children or soldiers be called to join the holy minyan in Heaven.
Visit Emes Ve-Emunah . / Harry Maryles

About the Author:


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 “In Memoriam: For These I Cry”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Jews Against Genocide mimicked and blasphemed the ALS Ice Bucket  Challenge with their anti-Israel "Blood Bucket Challenge."
‘Jews Against Genocide’ Take ‘Blood Bucket Challenge’ at Yad Vashem [video]
Latest Blogs Stories
terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks to the UNGA, Sept. 29, 2014.

Bibi speaks resolutely in forums like the UN but we don’t see that strength on the ground here.

Jewish archaeological finds

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking but no, I haven’t lost my mind and no, I am not kidding.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Discover the motivations and the emotions that may affect investing.

This piece partner- no it was not a spelling mistake- they desire piece after piece of our Land.

President Obama showed courageous leadership with his decision to attack “Islamic State” despite the unavoidable ensuing collateral damage.

The solution to the friction with Hareidim on El Al flights is so simple and obvious, it amazes me that it hasn’t been implemented yet.

Global resources flow to young and capable descendants of Arabs who left Palestine over 60 years ago

There was a problem: A different speech, in part, was delivered on September 27

Obama’s speech was the epitome of chutzpah and hypocrisy.

After Israeli-Arab and Zionist Mohammed Zoabi expressed his support for Israel, he was forced to go into hiding for his safety…

Here is your chance to show your appreciation to the IDF!

This video of IDF soldiers singing one of the most powerful prayers Jews say on the holiest day of the year is simply amazing!

When I think back to one year ago it actually feels like a lifetime ago; I was truly another person.

More Articles from Rabbi Dovid Landesman
Gustman.jpg

Please, Ribbono shel Olam, no more children or soldiers be called to join the holy minyan in Heaven.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/in-memoriam-for-these-i-cry/2014/05/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: