When I awoke this morning, Sunday morning, I knew I could go to my computer and the media would have already released the names of the victims from the Shabbat terror attack. That thought just made me burrow deeper under the covers. I did NOT want to know their names. If I didn’t know their names then I could pretend it never happened. Once I knew the names it would be real.
Finally, I steeled my nerve and faced the computer screen. The two murdered men were Rabbi Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita Bennet, hy’d. Aharon’s wife, Edel Bat Miriam, and son, Natan Ben Edel, were both injured and Edel is in serious condition. Also two children were shot and hospitalized on Shabbat when their Sukkahs, one in Lod and the other in Kochav Yaacov, were shot at. Saturday night there was another stabbing and a teenager was hurt badly.
All of these victims, along with Naama and Eitam Henkin, hy’d, were good people trying to serve HaShem as best they could. Why did HaShem let them be murdered? Why is He making it so hard for us to be happy on Sukkot, the holiday that is called Our Time of Rejoicing?
I was upset with HaShem and yet, I wasn’t upset enough to uncover my head, skip lighting holiday candles tonight at sundown, and instead of going to the synagogue drive off to the beach. What keeps me still trying to fulfill His commandments?
It wasn’t an easy question but it was an important one that I have asked myself before. I don’t follow the laws of the Torah by blind faith, rather by lots of learning and thinking.
In the Torah portion we read on Shabbat Sukkot we learn how Moshe pleaded with HaShem to show him His glory. Moshe was told, Exodus, Chapter 33, verses 20-23, you will see My back, but My face may not be seen. I’ve been taught that this verse teaches us there are many things in this world we cannot understand but when we arrive at the World to Come they will make perfect sense. This I believe.
I will never pretend that I understand the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition or the Holocaust. I can’t fathom why the Shilo cemetery is so full of those murdered by Arab terror. I still mourn the murder of the Fogel family, the massacre at the Har Nof synagogue, and countless more attacks.
However, there is one thing I can comprehend for sure. There are no more Crusaders, the Spanish Empire died eons ago, and Germany never achieved its one thousand years of glory Hitler predicted. Who knows what happened to the Babylonians or The Holy Roman Empire? Still, the Jewish people continue to thrive.
The Arabs may murder me but there will always be more Jews to carry on my task. The terrorists may make me cry, mourn, and even react violently to them, but they will never break me. The Jewish people live! And we will continue to do so.
|courtesy of Israel National News|