Ari M. Solomont
Trying to change the world, one revolution at a time

Embracing heartbreak and celebration

As Jews, we are genetically engineered to embrace the conflicting emotions of celebration and heartbreak. Since the middle-ages, we have invoked the Yizkor, the memory of martyrs, our beloved and dearly departed during our most joyous of holidays. At weddings, our moments of utmost joy and celebration, we consciously highlight the destruction of Jerusalem’s Holy Temple. And only after we agonize over the sacred memory of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and sadly continue to do so to protect and live in our homeland, can we express our euphoria for the birth of the State of Israel on Yom HaAtzmaut. For better or for worse, Jews have been preconditioned and continuously challenged to embrace this emotional roller coaster since the birth of our people.

The horrific terrorist attack that has mercilessly taken the lives of Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee, HY”D, three precious souls, a mother and her young daughters during our Passover holiday adds a new, and devastating chapter to the lamentations of Israel. And yet, for those who live, celebrations of life continue, even as the pain and trauma of this dreadful week is etched in our consciousness and forever remembered. As consoling words from mere mortals will fall short, may we all find solace, yearning, and a semblance of optimism each day in our morning prayers by reciting “Hafachta Mispadi Lmahol Li, You have turned my mourning into dancing,” (Tehillim/Psalm 30)

It’s certainly much easier to share these ideals when we’re not in the thick of it. “It was not my wife, mother, daughter, sister, or friend” …but as our nation demonstrates so well, even when it’s not me, it’s still US. May the collective embrace of the entire Jewish people strengthen the Dees, their classmates, neighbors, and friends. May G-d Himself comfort Rabbi Dee, his children, their entire family, and bring retribution on His foes, and avenge the blood of His precious people. נצח ישראל לא ישקר – The eternity of the Jewish people/Israel, does not deceive. Am Yisroel Chai!

About the Author
Rabbi Ari Solomont is the Director of International Admissions for Yeshiva University in New York. Prior to making aliyah eighteen years ago, Ari was a licensed nursing home administrator and the executive director of New England NCSY. (National Conference of Synagogue Youth) Well known as an expert in the field of informal education, Rabbi Ari has been a sought-after consultant for several national and international educational initiatives. Rabbi Ari's warmth, humor, love of people, and compassion have inspired generations of Jewish youth. Rabbi Solomont is an off road cycling enthusiast who can often be found riding through the Hills of the Holy Land and along trails across the globe. He and his wife Sarah Beth live in Ashkelon, have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. Their youngest daughter recently completed her service in the Israeli Air Force. [The views and opinions expressed by Rabbi Solomont on this blog are his own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any organization or institution to which he is affiliated]
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