David Lapin
Rabbi, Consultant, Author

Eichah? How Could this Be?

Words escape my pen. My heart hurts. My mind is blinded by a blackout of incomprehension. And yet….words are needed. We have to express our pent-up feelings of anger and sadness and communicate with each other in this moment of darkness.

I wonder about the statement of Chazal that

(שלוחי מצווה אינם ניזוקים. (פסחים ח – people on a mission of mitzvah aren’t harmed. How then were holy individuals brutally murdered wearing their tephillin in moments of prayer? How can this be?

We can’t fathom G-d’s ways, but we are charged to try and make sense of events. I can only think that the Mitvah these kedoshim were performing was not just the mitzvah of prayer and Kriyat Shema. It was the Mitzvah of ultimate Kidush Hashem of which death is a tragic but inseparable part. It is in the performance of this mitzvah of Kidush Hashem that neither their neshamot nor our nation will be harmed. Neither they, nor the people of Israel will be damaged through this gruesome act of barbarism. On the contrary, the sacrifice of the blood of Kedoshim for Kidush Hashem will inevitably lead to redemption. How so you might ask?

Be reminded of the June 12th kidnap and murder of three precious boys. Remember our broken hearts, our outrage, our puzzlement. And yet their act of Kidush Hashem set off a chain of events that saved thousands of Israelis and our nation from a much more terrible tragedy being planned by our barbaric neighbors. Our People was not harmed by their Kidush Hashem, it was saved by it. The sacrifice of the blood of Kedoshim for Kidush Hashem inevitably leads to redemption.

Remember one of the greatest tragedies of Jewish history less than a century ago. Remember how desolate our nation was in 1945. So many thought the future of the Jewish people had been extinguished. And yet, barely three years later we beheld one of the greatest miracles of Jewish History. For the sacrifice of the blood of Kedoshim for Kidush Hashem inevitably leads to redemption.

As broken hearted as we are today, we will not be weakened by this event. In ways yet to unfold, this event will impact our evolving history as significantly or more so even, than the events of June did.

The June kidnapping not only triggered a chain of events leading to the shelling of the South in Israel and the Gaza war which in turn revealed the tunnels of terror. It also set off events in Europe and elsewhere that highlighted a different kind of terrible tunneling. The tunneling of Moslem hatred under the surface of European civilization to ultimately obliterate it and to cleanse it of Jewish influence even more effectively than Hitler could. The June kidnapping shook us out of the illusion of security in which we have been living for nearly seventy years.

The Hebrew word for security is bitachon, also the word for trust in and reliance on Hashem. Bitachon does not imply any lessening of our own efforts to protect ourselves and fight our wars. Bitachon is an emotional mitzvah, a mitzvah of the heart. Bitachon instructs how we should feel rather than how we should act. We have to act in ways that are natural, and feel in ways that are divine. Israel and its armed forces are the tools that we use to act; Hashem is the Rock that nourishes and secures our hearts. The stronger our attachment to our Rock, the greater will be the safety we secure with our tools.

השם ינקם את דמם ואת דם כל אחינו הנרצחים, זק״ל, ע״י אויביו בני ישמעאל. Despite our miraculous national independence we still live in a Galut rendered impotent by nations that tolerate only one form of radical racism: Antisemitism.  Political correctness is (rightly) unforgiving of an offensive remark about a minority group but acquiesces to the indiscriminate murder of members of civilization’s most contributive minority ever. This is the reality of the world in which we live.

המקום ינחם את משפחתם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

May Hashem comfort their families among all of us who are perpetual mourners for a Zion that embodies the sanctified mission of Yerushalayim.

About the Author
David Lapin, Rav of KBA, Raanana, author, speaker, and founder of Lapin International, a leadership and strategy consultancy, is dedicated to transforming leaders and restoring dignity and sanctity into the workplace. His life changing ideas and solutions to complex life issues move people into new paradigms of thought and action. He lives in Raanana, Israel, with his wife, has five children and fifteen grand-children. He is the author of Lead By Greatness, CEO of Lapin International, Inc. and teaches Torah on