In Parshat Noach (Breisheet 8:16), after the flood, God tells Noach to leave the ark: “Depart from the ark, yourself, your wife, your sons and your sons wives with you.”
Despite all of the destruction that he saw, it was time for Noach to move on.
What would have happened to the world if Noach and his family (and all of the animals) spent the rest of their lives on the ark instead of going out?
What would happen if the current terror attacks caused Israelis to stay at home?
Over Sukkot, immediately after Rabbi Aharon Benita HY’D and Rabbi Nehemia Lavie HY’D were murdered in the Muslim Quarter, a major Charedi posek (decider of Jewish Law) in Israel told his students that they can travel to Jerusalem but they should stay away from the Old City until things calm down. Two streams of Chasidim were held back by their rabbis from coming to the Kotel as well.
While the Western Wall Heritage Fund, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, MK David Azoulay and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz are not happy with the Halachic rulings (they say that it is completely safe to go to the Kotel), the Muslim radicals are thrilled that terror pays: “If after two stabbings we have caused many to leave the Kotel, what would happen if we carried out some quality attacks?”
No wonder why when I went to the Kotel this past Thursday, aside from a few Bar Mitzvah celebrations there was hardly anyone there.
Today there was supposed to be a massive prayer gathering at the Kotel led by Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu in memory of those who have been killed in the recent terror attacks and to pray for a full recovery of the victims of terror. The low attendance at the gathering probably has to do with the fact that the Charedi and Chassidic Rabbis did not officially revoke their statements about it being forbidden to go to the Old City and the Kotel as they find it to be too dangerous. A Charedi Knesset Member was even ridiculed by the Charedi press for going to the Kotel to celebrate a family Bar Mitzvah thus defying the rabbis.
MK David Azoulay encourages Israelis to visit the Kotel to strengthen our presence there as well as at the other holy sites which symbolize most of all our connection to the Land of Israel specifically now during these troubling times.
Just as God told Noach to “go out”, we too must go out and show that we care about Israel’s holy sites.