I listened or read perhaps a dozen Rosh Hashonah or Shabbat Shuva speeches this year. To a T almost every one included the theme that this year is different. Focusing on the summer’s war against the Hamas terrorists several made the point that the war changed the mood of the people of Israel and maybe the Jewish people. But many others focused on the unity created during the search for the three children kidnapped and killed by the Palestinian murderers. Achdus they screamed from the pulpit. Unity.
Some including Rabbi Moshe Weinberger took it to another level. One of the themes of the Rosh Hashonah holiday is Areivut – responsibility. That each of us has Areivut for the entire nation. Some focused on the Areivut that the Israeli leadership showed this summer – from the top down. Caring deeply about every child, every soldier.
Others focused on the caring that Jews around the world felt for the families of the three beautiful boys that were taken from us – Bring Back Our Boys was the cry of the summer.
But at the end of the day the families of the three boys and the soldiers who were killed are suffering. Suffering alone. When the mothers and fathers wake up in the mornings they feel a giant hole in their bodies. Which doesn’t leave or disappear. It’s the families who are suffering. Especially the parents, wives and children. Every day, every hour, every minute.
And alone. All alone.
So here’s my idea – this Yom Kippur during the part of the davening that will be the hardest for the families – Yizkor (the memorial service) – each of us will focus on one of the boys- our boys- who were taken from us. I’m not asking you to cry (although you can and probably will) – just think about them. And spend a minute. Share their parents’ pain. Whether you stay in or go out for Yizkor. Think about them. One of them. And feel the pain. And feel the Areivut of Am Yisrael. THINK ABOUT OUR BOYS THIS YOM KIPPUR!
Make this year truly different.