Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency via Wikimedia Commons
Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Sunday morning, in his daily morning shiur, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Tzfat, spoke about the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, on Friday.

“In Modim of the Amidah, we proclaim: ‘and for Your miracles which are with us every day.’ Today, I could not help but give thanks to the Holy One Blessed Be He for the miracle and kindness He performed for us Friday afternoon when our soldiers succeeded in killing the head of the snake – the lead nuclear physicist of the atomic-bomb project in Iran.


“It is written: ‘They have said, Come and let us cut them off from being a nation that the name of Israel shall no longer be in remembrance’ (Tehillim, 83:5). This was their plan, and the plan of the head of the snake, that Israel be no longer in remembrance, G-d forbid.

“In a secret action that amazed the world, with no one knowing how it occurred, he was assassinated, as if from out of nowhere, and this wasn’t the first time we have acted with such bold and daring swiftness.

“There is a Midrash which speaks about four kings, each with a different request regarding the enemies of Israel. David said: ‘I will pursue my enemies and overtake them; I will not turn back till they are destroyed’ (Tehillim, 18: 38). Asa said that he lacked strength and would only chase his enemies away. Yehoshafat said that he would only sing a song of praise. Chezkiyahu said: I will lie on my bed and You perform the miracle. Obviously, David was greater than the rest. This is what is said: ‘Give Your strength to Your servant’ (Tehillim, 86:16).

“We are not to sit idle and wait for Hashem to make a miracle. That was fitting during the Exodus from Egypt, in accordance with G-d’s plan: ‘The L-rd shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace’ (Shemot, 14:14). This is when we were weak. But David epitomized Israel’s strength, saying, ‘Give Your strength to Your servant.’ Knowing that his strength came from Hashem, he went forth to battle against Israel’s enemies, and this is the greatest Kiddush Hashem….

“We have to give thanks to the Holy One Blessed Be He over the death of this snake – to dance and celebrate like on a Yom Tov. I don’t know why we recited Tachanun this morning. We should have recited Hallel! We have to say thank you, thank you, thank you, Holy One Blessed Be He. We are not blind, we see your salvation with opened eyes. We feel Your love for us, and we return our love for you, forever and ever.”


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Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online.