This past Sunday morning, DRS held a program commemorating the tragic deaths of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, and Eyal Yifrach. The program began with a video that depicted the emotional scenes in the land of Israel after the news of the kidnappings. Students and teachers then had the privilege of hearing from Rabbi Shay Schachter, assistant to the rabbi at the White Shul, speak about his experiences in Israel this past summer. Rabbi Schachter had been sent by his kehillah on a trip to pay a visit to the shivah homes of the boys who passed away.
Rabbi Schachter described how uplifting and inspiring the trip was. At the shivah homes, lines of visitors waited on the streets, with various people walking around offering all kinds of food and drink to whoever wanted. There were signs asking if any visitors were able to offer services to the families, and there were hundreds of volunteer requests. Klal Yisrael was united during this time and were so overwhelmingly kind to people they had never met before. It didn’t matter what type of Jew you were.
Rabbi Schachter described how excited and appreciative the families were by his visit. The fact that an American man would fly in to comfort them meant so much. The families now have personal relationships with Rabbi Schachter, and they speak on the phone every week.
Rabbi Schachter emphasized the personal strength of the families who made the ultimate sacrifice. Their unwavering faith in Hashem is admirable and a lesson to all. Rabbi Schachter stressed the importance of remembering the suffering of the families even after the initial outpouring of support. Writing letters to the families, or to families of soldiers who passed away, is one way to contribute.
DRS has dedicated all of the yeshiva’s learning this year to the memories of the three boys and the memory of the fallen soldiers who have risked their lives defending the Jewish nation and the land of Israel. v