David Mandel
Chief Executive Officer, OHEL Children's Home and Family Services

One Nation Under G-D

Two headlines amongst scores screamed in the aftermath of the most tragic news.

“Arabs Attacked IDF Ambulance Transporting Bodies of Murdered Israeli Teens”

“The White Shul will have special tefilos following mincha lezecher nishmos Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaarl, and Naftali Fraenkel Hy”d.

In our moments of desperately seeking an explanation, an answer to questions that conjure images of the Shoah we turn to Hashem with tefillos. We pray that Eyal, Gilad and Naftali died without being brutalized.

Their death is a a national tragedy amongst all Jews and civilized peoples of the world.

The Arab response is to attack the ambulance carrying these boys. They may be of same flesh and blood as Jews created by G-D but not in the image of G-D.

Trauma is distinguished in numerous ways displayed by immediate grief or a delayed response of weeks and even months.

From this terrible tragedy for the families, their friends, their community, all of Eretz Yisrael and Jews world over will come an understanding that we must stand together even stronger with each other.

Today we do our best to explain to our children these events. And we should repeat this again tomorrow and the next day.

All the while we gain strength from these innocent children who after our brief explanations go about their normal routines. To survive trauma we must find a way to regain our routine. Slowly, assuredly, trying to make sense from senseless.

We Jews have many differences amongst each other. Political, social and financial, events in Eretz Yisrael these last two years have pitted swaths of communities against each other. Tragedies have a way of bringing people together but too often just for a day.

Rabbi Shalom Rosner providing comfort to hundreds of children and staff in Camp Kaylie heard a counselor say that these three neshamos in death accomplished more than people do in a lifetime.

I recently wrote that “In Israel the Army exists to serve the nation. Every Jew is a nation.”  Today we stand proudly in our tears and tefillos knowing that Hashem’s army of Jews includes an Israeli Army that has served these last nineteen days, the nation of Eyal, the nation of Gilad, the nation of Naftali.

Let us remain one nation.

About the Author
David Mandel is CEO of Ohel Children's Home and Family Services. For more than 50 years, Ohel has provided a safe haven for those suffering in the community. Ohel cares for more than 17,000 individuals in the New York metropolitan area and across all communities offering a broad range of mental health services including outpatient counseling, trauma, anxiety, eldercare, respite and housing.