When our fridge died, it would have been fairly futile to try to guess which family member did something wrong to cause a 22-year-old fridge to expire. Not just futile, actually. It would have caused fights between my children, between my loving husband and myself. Looking for fault is destructive.
That said, when we had to spend many , many hundreds of sheqalim to replace Mr Tadiran, we did try to think of ways to save money elsewhere. To pay for the fridge with better fiscal care.
נחפשה דרכינו ונחקורה, ונשובה עד ה’
Let’s investigate our behaviours, and return unto HaShem.
We cannot explain the tragedy of the kidnapping of three boys by terrorists. We have no right to find fault in our brethren as the root cause of hundreds of kidnapping plans / attempts (which HaShem helped the IDF foil) over the past few years. Only sinking can result from any of us pointing fingers at each other, drilling holes in our shared boat.
Of course we can, and must, use the overwhelming pain of this ongoing tragedy to remind each of us personally that our purpose on this planet is to be Gd-like. We can each look for our own way to return to His Way, to be kinder, to be more Just, etc. I will salute the first Rav who gets up and says , “I will work harder to make sure that the Beit Din upon which I sit speeds up proceedings to avoid “Inui Din” (torture by justice, delayed justice which causes suffering to all parties), or gives us any other concrete examples of how we can each bring more of Gd into our daily, personal and national, behaviours.
Will that bring the boys back? Who knows. I cannot guess Gd’s mind. But it will make the world, our country and our communities better places. Personally, I will try to use this tragedy to remind me to use my mouth better, for holier purposes…. (Feel free to remind me.)
But I will try to guess Gd’s mind for a minute. In the other direction.
My husband participated in Operation Defensive Wall (Homat Magen), which followed the massacre of 18 Holocaust survivors (most of whom hשd no family) at the Park Hotel in Netanya) on Seder Night almost exactly 12 years ago.
Homat Magen cleaned up a lot of the illegal weapons in areas that were under Paliestinian Authority control. It was a vital operation, which eliminated the suicide-bombing trend, and returned the IDF’s power of deterrence to areas that felt a little too free to do what they want. With all the good that came of that operation, one cannot forget that 23 Israeli soldiers were killed – in booby-trapped buildings, by sniper fire, etc.
Now, by some extra Divine Providence, we have only heard of one case of a soldier being injured. Our soldiers are going into prepared enemy bunkers and dungeons, and coming out safe and sound. This should not be taken lightly.
So, I am guessing Gd’s mind, that perhaps we are earning this extra Providence through our unity. Perhaps the fact that Yair Lapid and Hareidi politicians prayed together; that Hareidi rabbis call for praying for our soldiers; that politically-left-wing MKs recognize that H’nin Zoabi is much more of an enemy than Moshe Feiglin; that we are showing true respect for loyal non-Jewish citizens; that millions of Jews are donating time and gifts to our soldiers; that Diaspora Jews hold up “#Bring Back Our Boys” signs at their weddings – perhaps all this unity has the natural AND supernatural effect of guarding our soldiers.
But I want to add one more item that I think has the potential to protect us forever.
Two days ago, Monday evening, there was a youth vigil for the kidnapped boys, held in Tel Aviv. That youth of all colours and stripes came together when they could have been at the beach is one thing. But that they came together to discuss Uniting Without Tragedy, is such a blessing for Am Yisrael.
If today’s youth, tomorrow’s leaders, will use this summer vacation to begin a process of loving and respecting each other especially when they disagree, then perhaps we won’t need painful reminders to make us investigate our ways and get closer unto Gd. Our love for each other, as Hillel the Elder said, is the essence of Gd’s Torah. “All I want,” said Gd, “is for you to love one another and respect one another.”
May our next generation continue to be wiser than we are. May they lead us back to the path of Righteous Behaviour, off which we seem to have slipped a bit.