Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO/Flash90
Shimon Peres speaking at funeral service for Gilad, Naftali and Eyal

In the fifth chapter of Avos we are taught the contrasting natures of the students of Avraham and the students of Bilam. The qualities of Avraham’s descendants are a good eye and a humble spirit in physical and spiritual pursuits. Mrs. Racheli Frankel as well as the other two heroic mothers displayed these qualities repeatedly throughout eighteen days of uncertainty. Constantly acknowledging and thanking people from all walks of Jewish life, seeing only the good, they were and are the quintessential bearers of the legacy of Avraham Avinu.

The remarks of Mrs. Frankel to young women at the Kotel were a beautiful manifestation of that legacy. To insist that “Hashem doesn’t work for us” and that we can’t lose faith even with a negative outcome was awe-inspiring – even more so when it became clear after the fact that she was bracing the nation for the blow she felt was likely coming.


Let us not lose sight of what we are here to accomplish, of our mission to bring honor to our Creator in whatever situation He challenges us with. Our frustration, sadness, and even anger cannot lead to impetuousness or foolishness. We are the eternal people and as such should not fear the long road home.

If we need strengthening in this, we need only look at three bereaved but heroic mothers in Israel.


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Rabbi Dovid M. Cohen is director of New York Synagogues and director of Community Engagement for Yachad at the Orthodox Union. He is the author of "We're Almost There: Living with Patience, Perseverance and Purpose" (Mosaica Press, 2016). His website is