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.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you