web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Our Boys; Our Values


The mothers of the three kidnapped boys, Iris Yifrach (R), Bat Galim Shaar (C), Rachel Frenkel (L), seen at the Knesset during a meeting with Knesset members, on the 13th day of ongoing searches for them in the Disputed Territories on June 25, 2014.

The mothers of the three kidnapped boys, Iris Yifrach (R), Bat Galim Shaar (C), Rachel Frenkel (L), seen at the Knesset during a meeting with Knesset members, on the 13th day of ongoing searches for them in the Disputed Territories on June 25, 2014.
Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90

There are no words to describe the utter sense of sadness, loss, and outrage we all feel on behalf of the Shaar, Frenkel and Yifrach families. What these families have been put through is indescribable and the dignity and grace with which they have confronted this tragedy is nothing short of inspirational.

Last week I participated in a rabbinic conference call with Racheli Frankel, mother of Naphtali z”tl l who told us that the sense of Achdut (unity) and Ahavat Yisrael (love of one Jew for the next) were not just cliches but something she was truly feeling from Jews all over the world and something she asked us rabbis to continue to promote here in the United States. She wanted something good to come of this terrible situation and I feel we owe her at least that.

Racheli said she felt tremendous love and support from all segments of society, from the Charedim (ultra-orthodox) and their prayer gatherings to the Chilunim (secular). Yair Lapid, Israel’s Finance Minister went to visit the families and was quoted as saying to the mothers: “I haven’t prayed in six years. I haven’t gone into a synagogue since my son’s bar mitzvah. When I heard what had happened to your sons, I turned my house upside down to look for my grandfather’s prayer book. I sat down and prayed.” Interior Minister Gideon Saar said that because of what was happening he was going to begin observing Shabbat and publicly said he would not answer his phone until the stars come out on Saturday night. President Shimon Peres said and I quote:

“Three families like this can lift up a nation to heights previously unknown and I am not exaggerating. It’s been several days that Israel has been different, unified, joined, praying, fighting.” One of the other mothers, Bat-Galim, said that a chatan, a groom came to her home on the morning of his wedding to encourage them and Racheli referenced a large prayer gathering in Talmon organized by both the Ashkenazi and Sepahrdic Chief Rabbis of Israel. She ended the conference call with her prayer that the current sense of unity should serve as a tikkun, as a spiritual rectification for the divisiveness spoken of in that week’s Torah portion, Parshat Korach. And so in our sadness and outrage we shouldn’t lose the sense of love and unity that was somehow brought about and which is so often missing from our community.

We should also recognize one more unique value for which Judaism can truly be proud: our love for life and basic sense of humanity. Could you ever imagine a Jew celebrating the abduction and murder of a child, even one from our enemy? It’s unheard of in the Jewish community because ultimately Judaism celebrates life. The Torah is a guidebook to filling our lives with meaning and purpose. By celebrating the kidnapping and murder of innocent children our enemy has shown their true colors and demonstrated that the God they worship is not a God of life and love but one of hatred and death.

Ultimately this is a tragedy of immense proportion and the Jewish people will never be the same without our three boys but the way these brave families and Jews from all over the world have reacted to this huge blow only strengthens the treasured Jewish values of unity and love for life. May our continuing to celebrate life through Torah serve to elevate the souls of Eyal, Naftali, and Gilad, zichonam livracha. May their memory be a blessing and may their families be comforted amongst all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

About the Author: Rabbi Mark Wildes holds a BA in Psychology from Yeshiva University, a JD from the Cardozo School of Law, a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and was ordained from Yeshiva University. He currently teaches an Outreach Training Seminar at Yeshiva University’s Rabbinical School.


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.

10 Responses to “Our Boys; Our Values”

  1. Reyna Cohen says:

    Amen, Amen. Always in my heart

  2. The Jews believe in life, love for all people and following the laws of the Torah. The Muslims believe in killings

  3. So vey sorry to hear about your sons. My heart cries.

  4. You are unbelievable in the face of your tragedy.

  5. You are unbelievable in the face of your tragedy.

  6. Linda Dudley says:

    It won’t let me open the article!

  7. Loren Renee says:

    What an amazing woman! I am truly in awe of her.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
PM Binyamin Netanyahu lights Hanukkah candles in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu Warns Israel ‘Will Not Allow’ PA’s UN Resolution to Endanger Israelis
Latest Indepth Stories
Russia Cuba relations

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

Israel and the strengthening of the Jewish people in faith and numbers has brought a growing light

“Can you hear what the dead are whispering? Leave Galut, escape to Eretz Israel-Lech lecha!”

3 main messages emerged from this conference: Communications, Community, and Collaboration.

In his short time with the shul, he has managed to activate a Hebrew school with now over 50 children and five teachers.

Recent headlines show escalation of the same attitudes and actions as existed during the Holocaust

More Articles from Rabbi Mark Wildes
The Israel Test

Charges from the court of world public opinion and their refutations.

The mothers of the three kidnapped boys, Iris Yifrach (R), Bat Galim Shaar (C), Rachel Frenkel (L), seen at the Knesset during a meeting with Knesset members, on the 13th day of ongoing searches for them in the Disputed Territories on June 25, 2014.

A mother’s request for Israel: Sustain the Achdut and Ahavat Yisrael.

There was never a “good” Hitler, not even before 1939.

Young Jews desperately need to experience both the serious and lighter sides of Judaism.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/our-boys-our-values/2014/07/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: