Unesane Tokef 5772
Today, Bet Nissan, marks Baby Shalhevet’s 11th Yartzheit.
Baby Shalhevet was murdered by a sniper as she was seated in her pram, on the way to visit her grandparents in the Avraham Avinu neighbourhood in Hebron.
Baby Shalhevet, carried by her father during her funeral
A memorial for Baby Shalhevet in Hebron, where she was murdered
“‘Rockets into Roses’ products are unique, hand-sculpted works of art, fashioned by metal sculptor Yaron Bob, from actual rockets that landed in Israel. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind, custom, hand-made, very limited edition collector’s item.”
Fogel Family Memorial 2012
I made this video in order to commemorate the first Yahrtzeit of the Fogel Family HY’D.
A year ago, 6th Adar (11 March 2011), five members of the same family were murdered in their beds. The victims were the father Ehud (Udi) Fogel, the mother Ruth Fogel, and three of their six children—Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, the youngest, a three-month-old infant.
Cry No More - Yaakov Shwekey
To be honest, it was the video and the footage that made me teary - not so much the song.
An appropriate article from chabad.org written after Osama Bin Laden’s death. I feel it is very relevant.
Is it inappropriate to be celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden? Is that a Jewish value?
You’ve asked what I could only call a very Jewish question. For one thing, it’s so typically Jewish to feel guilty about rejoicing. Aside from that, the wisdom of our sages on this topic runs deep and thick. When do you know a wisdom is deep? When at first glance it seems full of contradiction.
Let’s start with Solomon the Wise, who writes, “When the wicked perish, there is joyful song.”1
Sounds pretty unequivocal. Until you find another statement of the same author, in the same book: “When your enemy falls, do not rejoice, and when he stumbles, let your heart not exult, lest the L‑rd see and be displeased, and turn His wrath away from him.”2
The Talmud mirrors the tension. We find: “When the wicked perish from the world, good comes to the world, as the verse states, ‘When the wicked perish, there is joyful song.’”3
. . . while in the same volume, the Talmud has already told us, “When the Egyptians were drowning in the Sea of Reeds, the angels wanted to sing. G‑d said to them, ‘The work of My hands is drowning in the sea, and you want to sing?’”4
We aren’t the first to note these paradoxes and more. Now is not the time to list every resolution suggested. Instead, let’s get straight to the heart of the matter:
What is so terrible, after all, about celebrating the death of a wicked evildoer? Why would you even think it decrepit to rejoice that a man who himself rejoiced over the demise of thousands of others, and connived ingeniously to bring destruction and terror across the globe, should now be removed from it? Is it so horrible to feel happy that the world has just become a better, safer and happier place?
No, it’s not. That’s perfectly legit. On the contrary, someone who is not celebrating at this time is apparently not so concerned by the presence of evil upon our lovely planet. Those who are outraged by evil are carrying now smiles upon their face. The apathetic don’t give a hoot.
If so, when Pharaoh and his henchmen, who had enslaved our people for generations—mistreating them with the utmost cruelty, drowning our babies and beating workers to death—when they were finally being drowned in the sea, why would not G‑d Himself rejoice?
Simple: Because they are “the work of My hands.” For this, they are magnificent. And a terrible loss.
As another prophet put it, “As I live, says the L‑rd G‑d, I do not wish for the death of the wicked, but for the wicked to repent of his way so that he may live.”5
For the same reason, Solomon tells you not to rejoice over the fall of your enemy. If that’s the reason you are celebrating—because he is your enemy, that you have been vindicated in a personal battle—then how are you better than him? His wickedness was self-serving, as is your joy.
But to rejoice over the diminishment of evil in the world, that we have done something of our part to clean up the mess, that there has been justice—what could be more noble?
That, after all, was the sin of Bin Laden: He recognized G‑d. He was a deeply religious man—those who knew him call him “saintly.” He prayed to G‑d five times a day and thanked Him for each of his nefarious achievements. The sin of Bin Laden was to refuse to recognize the divine image within every human being, to deny the value G‑d Himself places upon “the work of My hands.” To Bin Laden, this world was an ugly, dark place, constructed only so that it could be obliterated in some final apocalypse, and he was ready to help it on its way. With that sin, all his worship and religiosity was rendered decrepit evil.
So there’s the irony of it all, the depth and beauty that lies in the tension of our Torah: If we celebrate that Bin Laden was shot and killed, we are stooping to his realm of depravation. Yet if we don’t celebrate the elimination of evil, we demonstrate that we simply don’t care.
We are not angels. An angel, when it sings, is filled with nothing but song. An angel, when it cries, is drowned in its own tears. We are human beings. We can sing joyfully and mourn both at once. We can hate the evil of a person, while appreciating that he is still the work of G‑d’s hands. In this way, the human being, not the angel, is the perfect vessel for the wisdom of Torah.
ברוך דיין האמת
- ראש ישיבת מיר
הגאון הרב נתן צבי פינקל זצ”ל
Klal Yisroel Mourns The Petira Of Hagon Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel ZATZAL
Rosh Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim
Remember the day I borrowed your brand new car and I dented it? I thought you’d kill me, but you didn’t. And remember the time I dragged you to the beach, and you said it would rain, and it did? I thought you’d say, “I told you so.” But you didn’t. Do you remember the time I spilled strawberry pie all over your car rug? I thought you’d hit me, but you didn’t. And remember the time I forgot to tell you the wedding was formal and you showed up in jeans? I thought you’d yell at me, but you didn’t. Yes, there were lots of things you didn’t do, But you put up with me, and you loved me, and you protected me. There were lots of things I wanted to make up to you when you returned from Iraq.
Sincerely, …but you didn’t.
how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquillity and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.
בְּראשׁ הַשָּׁנָה יִכָּתֵבוּן וּבְיום צום כִּפּוּר יֵחָתֵמוּן כַּמָּה יַעַבְרוּן וְכַמָּה יִבָּרֵאוּן מִי יִחְיֶה וּמִי יָמוּת. מִי בְקִצּו וּמִי לא בְקִצּו מִי בַמַּיִם. וּמִי בָאֵשׁ מִי בַחֶרֶב. וּמִי בַחַיָּה מִי בָרָעָב. וּמִי בַצָּמָא מִי בָרַעַשׁ. וּמִי בַמַּגֵּפָה מִי בַחֲנִיקָה וּמִי בַסְּקִילָה מִי יָנוּחַ וּמִי יָנוּעַ מִי יִשָּׁקֵט וּמִי יִטָּרֵף מִי יִשָּׁלֵו. וּמִי יִתְיַסָּר מִי יֵעָנִי. וּמִי יֵעָשֵׁר מִי יִשָּׁפֵל. וּמִי יָרוּם
Tonight, I went to a fund-raiser organised by a close friend of mine.
We raised money for a Beit Midrash in the yisuv of Bat Ayin. The Beit Midrash is being built in the memory of Shlomo Nativ.
Shlomo, h’yd was 13, when he was murdered by an axe yielding terrorist - only a few days before Pesach 2009.
We watched a video made by the Nativ family, about their loss… and how they dealt with it.
Their reaction has amazed me… How a family, who suffered such a great tragedy, can continue to have such great faith and find the light in such sadness and despair.
May Hashem ensure that no other families will ever have to suffer like the Nativ family has.
May we live to see the Mashiach and the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash speedily in our days.
VIDEO - JOY OF THE SOUL - MADE BY THE NATIVS IS THE POST DIRECTLY BELOW THIS ONE