The Tragedy and the Pain (2)
February 7, 1997
People are still numb - the pictures, the names
broadcast over and over again on the radio, the funerals,
the stories - it all seems so unnecessary. But that is
almost always the way death seems - so unnecessary. Yet
the tragedy of 73 young men, all serving on Israel's
front line, dying as the result of an accident - it is
very difficult to conjure up words of comfort.
There are, of course, all sorts of stories that
accompany such events. Last Sabbath we read the following
words following the Torah reading (to be found in the
book of Isaiah - Chapter 7, verse 3-4):
And said the L-rd to Yeshayahu, Go out now to meet Ahaz,
thou and SHA'AR YISHUV (this is the name of the moshav
where one of the helicopters crashed) thy son...take heed
and be quiet, fear not, neither be fainthearted on
account of the TWO TAILS OF THESE SMOKING FIREBRANDS, FOR
THE FIERCE ANGER OF ... HAS TAKEN EVIL COUNSEL AGAINST
US... LET US GO UP AGAINST YEHUDA AND HARASS IT, AND LET
US MAKE A BREACH IN IT FOR US...
Adir Zik, on Arutz 7 this morning spoke of how the
day of the crash was the anniversary of the founding of
the moshav, which has presently 73 families.
I don't believe in trying to read G-d's thoughts and
figure out what is actually behind His ways, but, at the
same time, I find it difficult to ignore signs which seem
so obvious. I couldn't help but feel that if, throughout
Israel, a tiny bit the overwhelming pain expressed at
this tragedy had been felt, or exhibited when the Israeli
government started chopping up Eretz Yisrael, or when 80%
of Hebron was abandoned to Arafat, maybe, just maybe,
this might not have happened. Of course, I, nor anyone
else, can declare that the horrible deaths of 73 soldiers
was a punishment for the abovementioned acts of madness,
but, nevertheless - the words we read last Shabbat,
quoted above, are too much to be pure chance.
Yesterday an Israeli automobile was attacked by a
mob of parading Arabs in Hebron. Someone in uniform
threatened the occupants with a gun. In the end they were
helped by a `palestinian police' patrol, who assisted
them to reach their destination. Today, Hebron's Anat
Cohen, who gave birth to her 9th child (first girl) a
month ago, was questioned by police, for have committed
two major crimes: she initiated the "pinat chai"
(children's zoo) across from her home in Beit Shneerson
and prepared the ground for tree planting across from
Beit Hadassah on Tu b"Shvat.
At the same time, next week over 20 Arab terrorists,
among those, convicted murderers, including the killer of
Zvi Klein, Kiryat Arba's treasurer, several years ago,
are being released. Set free - terrorists, in this case,
all female, with Jewish blood on their hands. Jews are
continuing to receive administrative orders limiting
their movement and Arabs killers are being freed from
It has been announced that President Ezer Weitzman
will be asked to pardon Jews also convicted of murdering
Arabs. Perhaps the exchange is worth it - perhaps not. I
ask myself how I would feel if one of my families killers
was being released from jail?!
There is such a tremendous absurdity in the reality
of Israel's current events - it is beyond all
comprehension. The pain and the tragedy are compounded,
and quadrupled - and it is so unfortunate that so many
people seem to be blind to what is happening.
However, as the lines in the Biblical quote say, we
must not lose faith, "...take heed and be quiet, fear
not, neither be fainthearted..." we must be aware, be
strong, and try to change the seemingly inevitable.
Then, we will surely witness happier days.