While being dragged to the evacuation buses in August 2005, Dr. Sudi Namir, an IDF Captain and a Gush Katif physician yelled to high heaven prophetic text that predicted in detail the October 7, 2023 massacre.
“Your begging for pardon is not accepted. A million murderers will come in through the Philadelphi route. Katyushas on Ashkelon. Mortars on Sderot. Murder in Netivot. You are all partners in this crime. Nothing will help. This is what will happen.”
In this context, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, the chief rabbi of Ramat Gan, was asked by a resident of Morag during the Gush Katif expulsion if it is a mitzvah to tear one’s garment over the expulsion.
According to the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah 340, a Jew who suffered a bereavement, namely, the death of a next-of-kin, for whom one is required to observe mourning rites, must tear their garments. Rabbi Ariel added that the tearing of garments is also commanded when one sees a settlement in Judea in its ruin. The settlement of Morag is in the territory of the tribe of Juda, and therefore one should rend one’s garment when seeing it in its ruin.
“But the problem is, what is a ruined settlement?” Rabbi Ariel continued. “The poskim agreed that rending is required even over a Jewish settlement which is not ruined but has fallen under the rule of gentiles. At present, the Gush Katif settlements are not physically destroyed and are not under the rule of gentiles (this was quickly corrected by hordes of Gaza Arabs who burned down the homes and fields that were left behind in Gush Katif – DI). But it seems to me that nevertheless since the deportation of the Jews was done as a decisive step before handing them over to gentiles, it is necessary to tear.”
Rabbi Ariel added that Jews are also commanded to tear their garments and say the “Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet” blessing with the full name of God when hearing bad news about fellow Jews, therefore tearing and saying the blessing is commanded even if one is not physically present at the ruined settlement.
Finally, let us hope that just as the heartbreaking prophecy of Dr. Namir came true, so should all the prophecies about the revival of the Jewish nation in the Land of Israel come true. As we were taught by Rabbi Akiva (Makot 24b):
When the sages arrived at the Temple Mount, they saw a fox that emerged from the site of the Holy of Holies. They began weeping, and Rabbi Akiva was laughing. They said to him: Why are you laughing? Rabbi Akiva said to them: Why reason are you weeping? They said to him, foxes walk in the Holy of Holies and we should not weep? And Rabbi Akiva recited the prophecy (Micah 3:12), “Therefore, for your sake, Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become rubble, and the Temple Mount as the high places of a forest,” where foxes roam. And then he recited the prophecy (Zechariah 8:4), “There shall yet be elderly men and elderly women sitting in the streets of Jerusalem.” Now, since the negative prophecy has been fulfilled, it is evident that the prophecy of Zechariah will also be fulfilled.
And the Sages said to him, Akiva, you have comforted us, Akiva, you have comforted us.