web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Sanctifying God’s Name In Gaza


Yesterday I made an extraordinary and moving shiva visit at the home of the Netanel family, whose son Yonatan was killed last week in Gaza. Unfortunately, he and two other soldiers died when an Israeli tank mistakenly opened fire on a house captured by Israeli soldiers. His father, Rabbi Amos Netanel, was a student at our yeshiva in Kiryat Arba for several years.

When you comfort mourners, especially those who grieve over sons fallen in battle, your goal is to console and support the parents and family in their saddest hours. As I sat opposite Rabbi Amos and his dear family, I realized that just as they comforted the hundreds of friends who escorted Yoni to his final resting place, here too they were strengthening those who came to sit with them in their time of sorrow. Rabbi Amos reiterated his brave words at the funeral and said he wanted to speak in the name of his son, Captain Yoni, telling his soldiers: “Do not worry, because I haven’t left you – my spirit lives and continues to guide you and protect you from a higher and purer place.”

Rabbi Amos said it is of great merit to be the father of a son who with great determination, self-sacrifice and joy went to guard his beloved nation and land. He contacted the tank commander and the gunner who shot the fatal rocket that killed the three soldiers and told them he had no ill feelings toward them because everything that happens is prescribed from Heaven and Yoni fulfilled his mission on earth until angels took him back.

He said he was satisfied that the angels who took him were pure Jewish soldiers and that Yoni wasn’t killed at the evil hand of Hamas. He invited them to visit after the war so he could embrace them, and asked them to continue fighting, like Yoni, with courage, bravery and joy.

At this shiva visit I learned new concepts of belief and devotion. I was reintroduced to the uplifting spirit of this generation of men of Torah, soldiers and officers who grew up in yeshivot and demonstrated renewed powers of bravery, purity and happiness that are inherent in the Jewish soul. These are traits drawing from the spirit of King David’s soldiers and the Maccabees.

The Israel Air Force, which launched the war on Chanukah, was certainly inspired by the miracle of Chanukah. The courage and faith demonstrated by the Maccabees came to life again in the actions of the air force crews and the ground forces that joined the fighting a week later.

I left the Netanel home with a very deep feeling of having being touched by an angelic wand capable arousing powers of faith and unity within Jewish hearts. This faith and unity, inherent in the purity of those soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their people and their country, projects a new dimension of strength, love and complete devotion. Only these are able to soothe the great pain of losing a loved one in his early years of life.

Everyone connected with local and international media was astonished by the deep faith and commitment expressed by families of soldiers killed in action, and by injured soldiers wishing to immediately return to their units.

A reporter for the daily newspaper Maariv was so moved by this proud fighting spirit that he wrote: “It is possible that we’re meeting with the spiritual world and values of those who will be the future commanders of the IDF, and it may be possible that this will be the language and text that will be flowing at General Staff meetings within a few years.”

Yes, this war that began on Shabbat Chanukah was inspired by the courage and responsibility of the Maccabees for their people. I believe the entire nation of Israel was spiritually uplifted and experienced a real jolt to its morale and national pride when the Israeli government, humiliated for so long by Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli towns and cities, finally decided to retaliate and remove that danger from southern Israel.

When the Israel Air Force attacked and destroyed Hamas bases and rocket launchers, the entire country was relieved by the transformation of its image from a people who flee from its enemies and surrender to terror to a people who stand up and fight its attackers. After more than two weeks of heroic fighting, we have finally succeeded in renewing the Israeli army’s power of deterrence.

About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer Waldman is rosh yeshivaof Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba.


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 “Sanctifying God’s Name In Gaza”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz delivers lecture.
IDF Chief Rabbi: Nothing is Holy to Muslims Temple Mount except Al Aqsa
Latest Indepth Stories
Greiff-112814-Levaya

My son is seventeen; he didn’t want to talk about what happened, or give any details of the Rosh Yeshiva’s words of chizuk.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

Charley Levine

Prominent Jewish leaders acknowledged that their predecessors had mistreated the Bergson Group.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem

The Jew’s crime is his presence.

Hamas’s love for death tried to have as many Palestinian civilians killed as possible

Israel recognizes the fabrication called a Palestinian nation; So what do we want from the Swedes?

Arab attacking Jews in the land date back a century, long before Israel was created or in control.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Unfortunately, at present, the rabbinate does not play a positive role in preventing abuse.

Egypt’s al-Sisi is in an expansionist mood. He wants Israel’s permission to take over Judea and Samaria.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer Waldman

Early this past Shabbat morning we heard from military sources that a family had been brutally slaughtered in Itamar, a settlement near Shechem. Since my niece lives there with six children, we were extremely worried even though we realized there were many families that fit the description.

Upon hearing the reading of the Torah describing the purchase of the Cave of Machpela by our forefather Abraham, we were reminded again of the basic significance and substance of the destiny of the Jewish people, namely that our nation and our land are bonded by strong spiritual cords that can never be severed.

Just a few weeks ago we celebrated the anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria in the Six-Day War of 1967.

During the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot we are commanded to count every day and make a daily blessing. This mitzvah of counting the Omer illustrates the process of advancing up the ladder of freedom which began by God redeeming us from Egypt and came to its culmination at Mount Sinai where the Torah was given.

Yesterday I made an extraordinary and moving shiva visit at the home of the Netanel family, whose son Yonatan was killed last week in Gaza. Unfortunately, he and two other soldiers died when an Israeli tank mistakenly opened fire on a house captured by Israeli soldiers. His father, Rabbi Amos Netanel, was a student at our yeshiva in Kiryat Arba for several years.

I am still severely shocked in the aftermath of the heinous massacre that took place in Mumbai last week. Despicable Muslim terrorists carried out a well-planned, deadly assault on civilian targets, killing hundreds of innocent people.

Last week we experienced an extraordinary Kiddush Hashem when, on Wednesday, July 2, an Arab murderer armed with a huge bulldozer went on a rampage in the streets of Jerusalem. He flattened occupied cars, turned over a bus and ran over innocent pedestrians until his reign of terror was finally stopped by what was described as a passerby.

As Condoleezza Rice began orchestrating plans for the Annapolis Conference, which included extending invitations to governments notorious for their evil intentions, it was easy to guess what the message would be. She invited Middle Eastern Islamic participants to join the Palestinian Authority, whose terrorist policies are dedicated to wiping the State of Israel off the map.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/sanctifying-gods-name-in-gaza/2009/01/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: