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Four great rabbis have left us, learned men whose lives were dedicated to the people of Israel. Yesterday, two funerals. Today, more.

Pictures circulate of thousands who attended and anger rises in the secular community. It is an unfair anger, as those same people who cry out against the dangers of the funeral assembly are blind to similar actions of largely secular protests.


Yes, there will be more funerals. Yes, I will condemn these mass funerals but if you are like Benny Gantz, insisting on allowing the protests, please refrain from commenting. Giving respect to the dead outweighs your hatred of Bibi. But really.

Is it right, to go to a mass funeral? No.
Is it safe? No.

Is it what these great rabbis would have wanted? No. Really no.

If you protested against the protesters not because they were protesting but because you live close by and they are disturbing your quiet neighborhood, is that enough? No.

Do I have the energy for this? No. I really don’t.

Four great rabbis in one day. A world changed by a virus. Cities shut down, people locked in their homes. Jews unable to come to Israel. Is there a greater message?

Doesn’t there have to be? I believe there is. There has to be something good to come out of this nightmare. So here is today’s challenge…perhaps harder than ever. Find the good. Find the why. Something is happening…or it should be. Some message is being delivered…if only we’ll answer.

Stop fighting. Stop hating.

It isn’t the Haredim; it isn’t the protesters. It isn’t anyone…it’s everyone. It isn’t the hatred that divides us…it has to be unity and finding what brings us together.
Today should be a national day of mourning. If life could be measured in drums, the drum beats are getting louder. Listen for them. Look for the message.

Find the good. It’s there. Don’t be blinded by the clutter, the noise. Yes, it’s hard, this lockdown. Financially hard. Scary.
I have a lot on the line. We all do. A lot of things in the air.

Believe. I have to believe. I have to see the sun. I have to think of the good. I won’t let others take me down, smirk at my need to believe. What else do we have in life, if not our faith, our will to persevere.

And what will they gain, those who cannot have faith, cannot see beyond their own comforts? What will they gain by defeating my faith and seeing me drown in the misery they worship? Perhaps legitimacy. Perhaps ego. It matters not.

I won’t. That is my choice. I will look out at the trees, at the sunshine. I will listen to the sound of my grandchildren…perhaps only in video…

Two little girls holding hands and babbling to each other. But they are mine and thriving.

I’ll listen to a five year old tell me proudly that he has been learning Mishna with his father and know the light will always win.
I will not drown in your darkness, even today. Four rabbis…four guiding lights. Who will guide us in these dark days? We’ll find the light, the sun. We always have.

Eternal Israel.


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Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running since 2007. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write.