web analytics
March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
PLO / PA / Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
PA Back Down on ICC in Exchange for Frozen Tax Revenue
Latest Sections Stories
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

book-To-Fill-The-Sky-With-Stars

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Respler-032715

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

South-Florida-logo

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

First, sit down with your helpers and a pen and paper and break the jobs down into small parts.

More Articles from Rosally Saltsman
book-Headlines-Halachic

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

book-Small-Miracles-from-Beyond

For those who doubt or entirely disbelieve the phenomenon, this book will change your mind.

Today’s smiles are in the merit of my friend and I made a conscious effort to smile throughout the day.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

“My mother raised us to independence, all of us,” Rivka says, which certainly plays itself out in the fact that all three children have taken a different path.

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

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.

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: