Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

In the Land of the Bereaved

Shlomi Gil

These are the sons who will never come home again, who will never smile to their siblings, consult with their fathers, or be nurtured by their mothers. How does a family deal with the gaping hole, the searing pain that makes the heart feel like it will shatter? Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau offered solace in the most painful moments of a parent’s life, reassuring them that when it’s time move on, “know that my door is always open to you.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It’s early Tuesday morning in Modiin, and Rabbi David Lau, chief rabbi of Israel, has just finished delivering his daily 6:15 shiur. All his other appointments and obligations have been canceled. His daily planner is devoted to a single task: a journey to the land of the bereaved. As these lines are being written, 43 IDF soldiers and officers have lost their lives in Operation Protective Edge, may Hashem avenge their blood. Hundreds more have been injured and are hospitalized around the country. Dozens of families have joined the grim circle of the bereaved as they mourn the untimely deaths of the young soldiers who gave their lives to defend the citizens of Israel. On this wrenching trip across the country, we’d meet mothers who will never see their young sons again. We’d see ordinarily restrained fathers trying helplessly to stop their tears. We’d come face to face with the terrible price tag that war carries. But we’d also be reminded of the rare character of the Jewish nation. One of the bereaved mothers put it very well. “Hamas will not break us,” she toldRavLau in a broken voice. “It’s true that it’s hard, and painful, and no one will bring back my child. But if they think they will break us, they simply do not know who they are dealing with. No one will break us.”

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you