Dear Israel,

I know I speak for thousands who are watching you from afar, from among the nations and whose hearts are breaking for you and with you. We are so sorry your boys are not coming home alive. So very sorry.

There are storm clouds gathering to the west of my small town. I hope a huge thunderstorm develops. A storm out my window would match the one raging in my heart and soul for you.

I feel rage that innocent boys, beacons of life, were so easily and quickly taken by life forms lower than animals.

Taken so quickly. So quickly that Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev did not have time to rush before the Heavenly courts as an advocate for their lives to be spared I suppose. Not to mention time for the boys’ fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to plead on their behalf. If the patriarchs were resting in peace, I doubt they will ever again. How can they, when the blood of innocence lay close to them for days, crying from the ground?

And Rachel. What of Rachel? I’ve been wondering all day about G-d’s promise to her?  It hurts to read it now. He promised Rachel that her children, that you, would return to their borders. He called His promise a “hope for her future.” He used that promise to console her. It seems like an empty promise now. What is the use of her children being within their borders, only to be murdered? What does it matter if Rachel’s wailing and bitter weeping ceased, only to be taken up by you, by an entire nation?

I would be lying if I said my faith has not been shaken today. You are Israel. You are His chosen ones. And you have been brought to your knees. Again. And again. And again.

And the ones of us from the nations, who love you, watch with worried eyes and try to formulate new prayers on our lips for you, willing you to get up. Again. And again. And again.

You, Israel, are the ones who have taught me that everything happens for a reason. Reasons that only the One True Judge knows. Reasons that maybe He is explaining to Rachel right now. It seems like He owes her that much.

A few days ago, Naftali’s mother said that G-d did not owe her anything. What an amazing, humble woman.

I am not an amazing, humble woman. From where I sit, it seems like G-d owes her, and all of you, who are in covenant with Him, a Book full of promises. Promises of a wonderful, peaceful future.

I will dare to pray that He makes good on those promises. So very soon.


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