“All Jews are responsible for one another,” and when Jews are captured by a cruel enemy it is “a time of sorrow for Jacob,” i.e., for the entire Jewish People, and with God’s help we will soon be redeemed from it. At such a time, the Jewish nature to love all Jews comes to the fore together with our heartfelt prayers to God. We all join together in our prayers that God will guard and protect the captives and bring them home healthy and well, as the verse states, “And sons shall return to their borders.”
“Repentance, prayer and charity, remove the evil decree.” Every one of us should increase in charity and good deeds, while praying for the welfare of the captives and the success of those who are concerned with rescuing them, as they repent for what they need to rectify.
However, every one of us is also a part of the whole of the Jewish People; we must therefore also repent on the public scale – beginning by clarifying the Torah’s opinion on public issues and stating it clearly, until we appoint a rectified leadership that will act according to the Torah. Our prayers too should be accompanied by repentance, and by making efforts to rectify the situation on the practical scale.
Fundamental rectification of the Jewish People’s security in the Holy Land begins by recognizing our right to the Land. A rectified Jewish leadership must first of all apply full Jewish sovereignty over all areas of the Holy Land currently in our possession.
Proclaiming our right to the Land is the deepest expression of our love of the Jewish People and our love of the Land of Israel, and also expresses our gratitude to God for the good land that He has given us. Declaring sovereignty will allow us to stand tall, together with our sense of justice and resoluteness as we fight against the enemies of the Jewish People.
This must be a resolute and uncompromising war against terrorists and against those who send them, according to Jewish morality, with all the power that God has given us to dissolve the false hopes of the enemy completely; hopes that encourage terrorism.
It hurts to say this, but we cannot remain silent: the severely faulty Israeli defense policy, such as the reckless release of terrorists, or negotiations with a tendency to surrender or submit to our enemies, weakens our ability to successfully fight against every knife-wielding terrorist.
Such terrorists act on encouragement from, and as agents for, the heads of the enemy with whom the government conducts negotiations; lending us the painful feeling that our prayers are coming up against a wall of iron, God forbid. In contrast, during times when the Jewish People have stood firm against the enemy and have not submitted to terrorist leaders, we have been blessed with amazing assistance from Above, and God has answered our prayers and brought success to our endeavors.
May God allow that the spirit of strength and self-sacrifice that beats in the heart of the nation increase and grow ever stronger, and then we will see the fulfillment of the verse, “For Havayah your God, accompanies you to fight for you against your enemies to redeem you.” Amen.
It is good to add the following chapters of Psalms to our prayers at this time: 17, 20, 23, 113, 121, 130 and 150.
[Editor’s Note: The names of the three boys are:
Naftali Frankel (Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah) Gilad Sha’ar (Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim) Eyal Yifrach (Eyal ben Iris Tesura)]
About the Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh is the Dean of Yeshivah Od Yosef Chai in Yitzhar. For more of Rabbi Ginsburgh's teachings, please visit Inner.org.
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