Naftali Moses

No News from Hebron

There was no news from Hebron last night. Just more of the same. More Jews cruelly murdered by those who hate us. And all the prayers and all the tears and all the pain, again, too familiar to be new. There was no news at all.

As we sat watching the pictures of the field, and the soldiers and the vigils come across the internet, my ten-year-old daughter, the simple child, asked, “And all those prayers? For what then?” Nothing new about that question either.

Makor Chaim’s rosh yeshivah had spoken to his fervently praying students two weeks earlier quoting the midrash on the verse—“‘And you will love Hashem, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul’…even if God takes your soul.” As Naftali’s mother had said—God doesn’t work for us. Yet our love still remains—maybe painfully unrequited for the moment—but remains just the same.


There are those who would worship the Great ATM in the sky. “Ask and you will receive.” A cargo-cult of prayer swiping requests from on high. And they may say that God always answers our prayers—but sometimes Daddy says, “No.” Others, though, seek out a love independent of material gain—in sickness and in health as it were. For in the most holy of our relationships should we not aim for a love cleansed of “and what have you done for me lately?”

Love even unto death. Another three innocents horribly slaughtered by our enemies accomplished just that. And what is left for us, still standing upon our yet again blood-soaked land is to love even more. “Love your neighbor.” Love the families whose hearts and souls have been seared with pain no parent should know. Love the soldiers, young men and women still fighting a seemingly implacable enemy day and night, night and day. Love each other—above the squabbles and politics, even just for a moment. That would be news.

About the Author
Naftali Moses, born in NYC, has lived in Israel for over 30 years. He holds a PhD in medical history from Bar-Ilan University, and teaches and writes on the nexus of medicine and Judaism. The author of "Really Dead?" and "Mourning Under Glass", he has also translated several books on Jewish thought into English, published on philosophy in the Mishna, and aggadah.