Susan Barth
Marriage Education, Enrichment / Enhancement & Advocacy

A Tribute to Our IDF Soldiers – Our Holy Souls

In the third portion of this week’s Torah reading known as Shemini (Vayikra (Leviticus) 9:24-10:11, we learn about the deaths of Aaron HaKohen’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu.

In his daily recorded class on the Chumash with Rashi, the late Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon z”l, detailed the six sins which the biblical commentator Jacob Ben Asher, known as the Ba’al Haturim, cited as the reasons for the manner of death of these righteous souls as derived from the teachings from the Oral Law.

The reference to the sins which are enumerated below can be accessed via Rabbi Gordon’s recording of the third portion at the 13 minute mark using the link:

The sins are as follows:

  • they brought an alien offering
  • they gave an halachic rendition in the presence of their teacher
  • they were intoxicated
  • they had no children and they refused to marry and bring a family into this world
  • they set their eyes on the leadership
  • they did not engage in getting advice from people smarter than them set their eyes on leadership

In truth, there are many commentators who provide other reasons for the tremendous loss of the sons. Needless to say, the incomprehensible loss of such righteous souls was a cause of deep mourning by the Jewish nation at that time and especially poignant given the stature of their father Aaron HaKohen.

OUR HOLY SOULS – Killed and Wounded

As incomprehensible as the loss of Nadab and  Abihu in our Torah portion, there does seem to me to be a modern day tragedy in terms of the loss of  holy souls  related to the IDF soldiers killed in fighting totaling 256 as of today’s report. The sacrifice of these soldiers’ lives in the war and the anguish of the families and the nation will haunt us for generations to come.

But one thing is for sure – these soldiers died defending our country and for that we owe them our allegiance and recognition and gratitude for their heroism.

And another group which to me constitute Holy Souls are the “Unsung Heroes and Heroines” – the soldiers wounded in action who face years of hospitalization and multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. Their lives that have been shattered in many ways along with the reverberating toll on their families must be given the appropriate recognition on an ongoing basis.

Exceptional Soldiers of the IDF

The Lubavitcher Rebbe z”l gave an uplifting talk to a group of soldiers wounded in various fighting who visited 770 and his short talk praising their sacrifice to protect the Jewish nation in Eretz HaKodesh can be viewed with this link:

A Perpetual Thank You For Your Service 

These gut wrenching times are a trauma that will take years to overcome and that is why our solidarity as a people is so critical to maintain as well as the yearning for the Moshiah and final redemption to come speedily in our day.

May all the soldiers currently on the battlefield and those in the hospitals and in rehab wherever they reside be saluted for their courage and bravery and may they be returned to their homes in dignity and carry with them the gratitude for their service  And may the hostages be returned to their homes and to their families in the coming days and end the suffering of our nation.

Am Yisrael Chai

About the Author
Susan (Sarah) Barth is founder and director of Israeli non profit Together in Happiness/B'Yachad B'Osher, promoting stronger, healthier marriages impacting Israeli and English speaking countries' societies. A Project Management Professional (PMP) and businesswoman from the US, Susan sponsored and chaired the First International Conference on Marriage Education in Israel (attended by over 360 professionals) in Jerusalem in memory of her parents and launched I-PREP, an innovative marriage education curriculum. On November 8, 2017, Together in Happiness co-hosted a historic Knesset seminar promoting government support for pre-marriage education
Related Topics
Related Posts