By Chanita Teitz
I couldn’t sleep last Thursday night. The events of the past four weeks woke me up at around 3 a.m. Every time a soldier is hurt or killed, the sadness envelops me. Just look at their pictures—they are so young. Some of the soldiers are still in their teens while others are married with children. And what about the lone soldiers? Their parents send them off to Israel, where they join the IDF, and then the parents come to their funerals.
On the other hand we see so many miracles happening and so many acts of chesed. Mir Yeshiva boys putting on the strings for the special army tzitzis given to the soldiers, boys from a yeshiva in Ramat Bet Shemesh going to the hospital to sing for the wounded soldiers, Israelis bringing food, drinks, and clothing to the soldiers on the front lines. The open miracles of missiles aimed for populated cities that land in empty areas. Even the terrorists themselves see the Yad Hashem, as one terrorist said to a reporter: “Their (the Jews’) G‑d changes the direction of our missiles.”
On Monday, a family in southern Israel suffered a direct hit to their home, destroying the home, killing four people, and wounding several others. If there was any thought to a cease-fire, Israel is more determined to go in with added force and completely disarm Hamas. We do not have partners for peace. The “peace-loving” people that Obama, Kerry, and the UN would like us to negotiate with are threatening to cut off the heads of Jews. And we must not delude ourselves that this is limited to Israelis in the South near Gaza, as we have seen missiles aimed at all of Israel. Today, Tuesday, missiles have been launched towards Beer Sheva and to the Tel Aviv area. Missiles have also been launched towards Bet Shemesh and Efrat.
Israel’s main aim in this operation is to destroy all the tunnels that were dug by Hamas for the purpose of kidnapping soldiers, infiltrating Israeli communities, killing a mass number of average Israelis, and kidnapping average Israelis, including children. The system is a mass network of fortified, concrete tunnels supplied with electricity (from Israel), Wi-Fi, and ammunition. Despite repeated attempts and continued pressure from the U.S. for a cease-fire, only Israel has agreed each time and has kept each cease-fire until it had no choice but to fight back again at repeated Hamas missiles and attacks on soldiers and Israeli citizens.
The threat to Israel and Israelis has spread as a threat against Jews everywhere, particularly in Europe. European Jewry is in danger, but let us not delude ourselves that this new wave of anti-Semitism is limited to European Jewry, as there have been anti-Israel rallies in Australia, Chicago, and San Francisco, and graffiti painted on a shul in Miami Beach.
This is a dangerous time for Klal Yisrael, and fighting a war of life and death during the Nine Days is frightening. This is a tragic period of the year for Jews throughout our history. This year, while we are thinking of the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, we must also think about and mourn for all the Jews who gave their lives for our people and our land. We must pray for a refuah sheleimah for all the wounded Israeli soldiers and pray for the neshamos of the soldiers who have died. Regardless of world opinion about the disproportionate numbers of Palestinian deaths, in our small nation, every Jew counts.
There was a mass recitation of Shema Yisrael on Monday, and I read today that it will continue until Tishah B’Av, every day at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In every shul, Tehillim continues to be said. We are praying for our soldiers, for our families in Israel, and for ourselves, for where is it truly safe anymore?
On Sunday, August 3, 8:15 p.m. Chazaq proudly presents world-renowned lecturer Charlie Harary. Refreshments will be served. Men and women are welcome. Admission is free. Location: Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, 83-10 188th Street in Jamaica Estates. For more information, call 718-285-9132 or e-mail Info@Chazaq.org.
A Day Of Reflection
At Havurat Yisrael
On Tishah B’Av (Monday–Tuesday, August 4–5), Havurat Yisrael presents “A Day of Reflection.”
Monday, 8:45 p.m.: Ma’ariv and Eichah. 9:45 p.m.: Rabbi Hayim Schwartz (executive vice president, Rabbinical Seminary of America), “In the Footsteps of Rabbi Akiva: A multimedia tour of the Second Temple.”
Tuesday, 6:30 a.m.: Shacharit followed by Kinot with explanations by Rabbi David Algaze.
10:00 a.m. Chofetz Chaim Video “A”
11:45 a.m. Rabbi Leonard Levy (www.torahwithoutborders.org), “Jeremiah’s Prophecies of Destruction and Ultimate Redemption.”
12:30 p.m. Chofetz Chaim Video “B.”
2:00 p.m. Rabbi Richard Weiss (Young Israel of Hillcrest), “The Holy Temple: Our Relationship with Man, Our Relationship with G‑d.”
2:45 p.m. Rabbi Eliyahu Hartman (vice president of international affairs at the Jaffa Institute), “Kindness and Truth Met, Righteousness and Peace Kissed (Psalms 85–11): Hopes for the Rebuilding of the Temple.”
3:30 p.m. Rabbi Mordechai Kraft (Havurat Yisrael), “Heroism of the Holocaust.”
4:15 p.m. Rabbi Peretz Steinberg (Young Israel of Queens Valley.)
5:00 p.m. Rabbi Yigal Haimoff (rosh yeshiva of Ohel Simcha), “Do We Know What We Are Crying For?”
5:45 p.m. Rabbi Yaakov Jungreis (Yeshiva Ateres Israel), “The End of the End of Days.”
6:45 p.m. Rabbi David Algaze (Havurat Yisrael), “Kindness in the Destruction, Part 1.”
7:15 p.m. Minchah.
8:15 p.m. Rabbi David Algaze, “Kindness in the Destruction, Part 2.
8:45 p.m. Ma’ariv.
Refreshments after the fast are sponsored by Jane Stiefel in memory of her father, Siegfried Philip Stiefel (Shlomo ben Asser, z’l), and by Miriam Levy in memory of her father, Elisha Yacob Sason, z’l. Havurat Yisrael is located at 68-60 Austin Street #7 in Forest Hills.
For Rabbi Grunblatt
On Sunday, August 10, 3:30 p.m. an unveiling will be held for Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt, a’h, former rav of the Queens Jewish Center. The unveiling will take place at the New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale, in the Queens Jewish Center section.
To Mrs. Rochel Weiner and family on the petirah of Dr. Michael Weiner.
To Rabbi Shmaryahu Shulman on the petirah of his brother Rabbi Gershon Shulman.
HaMakom yenachem eschem b’soch sh’ar aveilei Tzion v’Yerushalayim. ϖ
Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.