Todd Berman

The sky over Jerusalem is crying

Twenty-one reserve soldiers died last night. They were people, humans, not caricatures of toy soldiers. They were sons, grandsons, fathers, brothers, and good friends. Each had dreams and futures never to be fulfilled.

The news has only released some of the names. But all the families are in pain. The entire country is. The sky over Jerusalem is gray as rain softly sprinkles down like quiet tears from heaven. Even the countryside is crying.

Reports say they were in the midst of destroying buildings believed to be used by Hamas militants. The Israeli army chose to send them in harm’s way, again, according to reports, and not use targeted air strikes. The choice was made to prevent injury to civilians.

These seem to be the facts, not a moral judgment.

Twenty-one young Israeli men died instead of risking Gazans. I’ll leave the moral calculus to the philosophers and the Israeli government. The facts speak for themselves.

Twenty-one young Israelis and their families and friends made the ultimate sacrifice for moral or political reasons, and we are left, with the families, mourning more of our children.

May all our hostages come home and our soldiers return safely.


About the Author
Rabbi Berman is the Associate Director at Yeshivat Eretz HaTzvi. In addition, he has held numerous posts in education from the high school level through adult education. He founded the Jewish Learning Initiative (JLI) at Brandeis University and served as rabbinic advisory to the Orthodox community there for several years. Previously, he was a RaM at Midreshet Lindenbaum where he also served as the Rav of the dormitory.