web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
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.



Sisters Of The Phoenix

Saltsman-042012

Less than two weeks before Pesach and days after the Toulouse tragedy, where a woman lost her husband and two sons in a terrorist attack, my son and I were discussing another horrible tragedy that had befallen a family in Rehovot, a young woman who had lost her husband and five young children in a fire.

This kind of tragedy is beyond unbearable. At least, he said with the Toulouse tragedy, there was someone to blame and the people died al Kiddush Hashem. How do you possibly continue after this? But then he answered his own question. If you do, if you can start your life again, rise above the heartbreak and continue on, G-d says, “Ah! This is what I wanted.”

It seems that this is a frequent theme in Jewish history – destruction and rebirth, a nation who collectively and individually is the personification of the immortal, Talmudic phoenix perpetually rising from the ashes.

Days after Chava Eva Sandler lost her husband and two sons in the terrorist attack in Toulouse, she was encouraging other Jews to take on mitzvos and increase acts of kindness, showing love to their children, love of Hashem, love of His Torah and love of one another. Sherri Mandell, who had lost her 13 year-old son, Koby at the hand of terrorists eleven years ago, wrote an open letter to Eva Sandler entitled “Celebrate Life” (it appears on aish.com). In it she praises her for encouraging acts of kindness and spirituality. She writes “Because the secret of the Jewish people may be this: we are masters in post-traumatic growth. Out of the ashes of the Holocaust, Israel was reborn. We build from pain. While our enemies celebrate destruction, we celebrate creation. We celebrate life.” Sherri runs a camp for children bereaved of terrorism in memory of her son who died al Kiddush Hashem. Hundreds of children benefit from this kindness, a monument of chesed.

When Eva Sandler got up from sitting shiva, she went to pay a shiva call to Avivit She’ar whose life literally went up in flames when she lost her husband and five young children aged 1-11 in the fire in Rehovot. And what does Avivit say to her? She encourages her to make aliyah. They both spoke of the goodness of Hashem and that what He does is for the best. Both women, watched by an incredulous world, expressed hope that their response to their tragedies will bring others closer to their faith and that they will succeed in bearing the pain of their sacrifice with dignity.

These women are experiencing the greatest tragedies a person can go through, loss that is beyond endurance and their first thought is to help others, help each other and inspire the Jewish people.

We are known as Am Ivri – we are the others who know how to look beyond; we rise above our tragedies in inconceivable ways and we transcend.

Tamar Fogel who only a year ago, at the age of 12, lost her parents and three siblings when they were brutally murdered in a terrorist attack in Itamar said during the shiva that this will not break the Jewish people; we will continue to live in Israel. She and her family had been expelled from Gush Katif seven years earlier. They had only been living in Itamar a year and a half. At the shiva, she said that her family was dedicated to the unity of the Jewish people. When Prime Minister Netanyahu came to visit her, she begged him not to give in to American pressure and to keep building in Israel. That is what concerned her.

Because that is what Jews do, they build. From ruins, they build, from destruction they create, they shake off the dust soaked with their tears and blood and ultimately, through this building, they will build the Third Beit HaMikdash.

In August 2001, I was in Los Angeles and a friend and I paid a shiva call to the Haymans who had lost their daughter Shoshana Greenbaum in the Sbarro bombing. She was their only child and was carrying their first grandchild. Shifra Hayman hugged and welcomed me like a long lost friend although I had never met her. When she heard that I live in Israel she said “Thank G-d you’re safe.” I was overcome.

Israel’s Independence Day is always preceded by Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers. One reason of course is to honor the memories and mourn those who have given their lives to help create and maintain an Israel dependent only on the beneficence of Hashem. Another reason may be to demonstrate a recurrent theme of Jewish history. The Jewish people may be pushed down, but we always rise, we are an indestructible people because we have the protection of the Creator of the Universe and we not only survive tragedy but we rise above it, we grow, we inspire others and we build.

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 “Sisters Of The Phoenix”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ismail Haniyeh, highest ranking Hamas member in Gaza, pictured Nov. 25, 2012.
Hamas Leader’s Daughter Treated in Israeli Hospital; #BDSFail
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Rosally Saltsman
Lessons-in-Emunah-new

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

Salsman-071814-Dog

He has always supported the underdog, once even quite literally, legislating a law that prohibits the abandonment of pets.

“Have you forgotten your dreams?” The Hope Merchant asks a defeated and hopeless Lily when she “happens” upon his shop.

Although the book is a light, and not to be taken in anyway as a halachic, treatise, there are some poignant moments and you may just learn a thing or two.

Even in the best of times, life is not free of calamity or crisis. But like the well-known Jewish expression goes: “It could be a lot worse.”

He didn’t start the fire either, but Solomon’s parodies and adaptations have been igniting the Jewish spark in hundreds of thousands of Jews worldwide.

Not long after my mother died, I was sitting on campus talking with a friend and mentioned that it had been a long time since I had seen a frog. I used to love going out into the garden with my mother and our St. Bernard dog in the autumn evenings and see the frogs come out. I have a thing about frogs – probably from reading too many fairy tales.

In an April Lessons in Emunah column, I wrote an article called “Learning to Dance in the Rain” about two friends who were very ill. One was in a hospice. The doctors had given up hope and the family waited with a heavy heart. But there was still One Doctor left. And He began to heal her. Slowly, the disease began to reverse itself, slowly it began to withdraw.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/sisters-of-the-phoenix/2012/04/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: