I don’t know how many of you actually look at the bottom of these email
forms, but if you have, you’d have noticed that it says I am located in Har
After this week of bloodshed, tragedy and tears, Har Nof is no longer a
small, unnoticeable, off to the side Jerusalem suburb.
Har Nof has become the heart of us all, a symbol of Jewish suffering and
persecution to the whole Jewish world.
It’s just as it says in Tehillim, “look to the right, I have no one (ain lee
makir)”. Just take out your siddur and look at and say chapter פ”ג 83 – and
read the simple translation – you can’t say that with a dry eye anymore.
Every word is true. Every word, meaningful.
We’ve got no one but each other – and I’ve been to so many gatherings,
speeches and the like over the past week in our neighborhood; what everybody
is saying is that we must take care of each other. Our fellow Jews. Our
neighbors, friends, family. The people we live with every day. We must truly
care about each other even when we are not the same outlook, background,
shul, minhagim, etc. We’ve got no one but each other – BUT – when we do
stick together, what a beautiful people we become!
I don’t know if it matters for me to post here all that went on last Tuesday
from my little angle. If it does get published, I can post the link later.
My husband does not daven in that shul but we are yes very much a part of
the entire Kehillah that does as we’ve been living here as part of this
street for over 27 years!
I do have another different and amazing story that happened to us/ my close
neighbor’s husband who was in that shul that day, which will be in this
week’s Hamodia. You can see it there. (I cannot post a link as it is not
online and the only way for me to share it is to let you know it’s there so
you can buy the newspaper. As a paid writer, it’s unethical for me to send
it out until at least three months after its publication, by which time it
will be not as relevant.)
Last night there was a huge Asifa/ gathering/ public get together here in
Har Nof in light of this huge tragedy. There were over 3000 people in
attendance; the men were in the shul and on the street outside (and it was
raining too!) and the women were in both halls at Neve Yerushalayim
(thankfully, all inside!). Rav Kanievsky shlita and Rav Shteinman shlita
came for the men, as well as other Gedolim, and Rav Rubin, the Rav of the shul, also spoke. They had live hookup to our hall as well. I heard that you can hear it online at Kol Halashon, listen for the announcement of the “Atzeres Kedoshim”. I don’t yet know more than this.
Each of the four wives spoke to us. Each one with tears in her voice, tears
in all our eyes, hearts overflowing with pain – but each and every one of
them had a clear message – we do NOT have questions. We will not give up our
belief in Hashem and all that He does. Yes it hurts us all very much but
saying “why?” and moaning is NOT the answer. The only answer, and Rav Rubin
said this too, is to change ourselves, not only to strengthen ourselves, but
to really change something about ourselves and keep strong. Because only
through Emunah – belief in Hashem no matter how hard it is, only through
this, will we see the Geula! Each one spoke with so much feeling, reaching
out to every one of us, even thanking us for all the support and love. Each
one regal in her pain, refined and soft spoken in her suffering.
It’s so important to take these words to heart and let them YES affect us.
We may NOT let these deaths of our kedoshim just die and fade away. We must
not let these deaths, together with all the many tragedies over the past
many years, be for nothing. The only way to ensure this tragedy will help us
is to act upon it and really do what our Gedolim – and the wives of the
kedoshim – are telling us. To change and to be more tolerant of our fellow
Jews, to care more about the people around us.
I’m not the person to give any advice or insights. I’m just part of the
kehilla who is hurting so much. I urge everyone to listen to some of the
speeches held here and to internalize their messages.
The families of all the Kedoshim are asking all Klal Yisroel to do something
for Klal Yisroel, take upon yourself a mitzvah/ good deed in memory of what
happened. This is their greatest source of comfort, knowing that others are
doing good things because of their loss.
Rebbetzin Koledetsky, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky’s daughter, said to us to try
and be ready for Shabbos 10 minutes before the candle lighting time and be
truly ready. Use those 10 minutes to pray your heart out for everything, and
for the entire Klal in particular.
Here is a link to the Motzaei Shabbos gathering in a different area of
Jerusalem, Rebbetzin Rina Tarshish and Rabbi Shapiro spoke there.
I am closing below with some of the words from Rebbetzin Tzippora Heller and
whose own son-in-law was hurt, stabbed in this attack. B”H the young
son/grandson got out but her son-in-law, as well as the other men hurt in
the attack, all still need our prayers.
Chaim Yechiel be-n Malka (in serious condition)
Shmuel Yerucham be-n Baila (her son-in-law, doing better B’H)
Eitan be-n Sorah
From Rebbetzin Tzippora Heller: (in blue text)
Emunah means knowing that everything has one source, knowing that there is
purpose and meaning. It means that you will one day account for your life to
the One who gave it to you. It means that you are living on one page of an
endless book, and the only thing that really matters is what kind of person
you choose to become.
You can choose light. You can choose learning. You can choose acts of
kindness. You can choose closeness to the wounded by continuing to daven for
Shmuel Yerucham ben Baila, Chaim Yechiel ben Malka and Eitan ben Sara. The
rabbanim have strongly recommended lighting Shabbos candles earlier. Maharal
tells us that the light of these candles is the same light that Torah sheds.
You can transcend your limitations and your attachment to materialism by
giving charity. A fund has been started for the widows and orphans left
behind. Donations can be sent to Kuppat Hair, Fund 2159, (call
1-888-587-2842 to find out where to donate in your present location) which
is earmarked for the victims of Har Nof’s tragedy. Various funds have been
started, but the Rabbanim of the neighborhood have recommended this one
because they are able to provide you with an American tax-deductible receipt
to those who wish them. Choose to be part of their lives at this time. After
all, you are part of the family.
Signed in sighing, pain but also in awe – awe at the community I live in, awe of the four wives, and awe for all of YOU at the outpouring of unity and love of all
of our nation!
All the best,
Har Nof, Jerusalem