I came across an article today posted on your Whatsapp Status, “MAILBAG: If You’re Putting Up Hostage Signs In Lakewood, Please Stop.”
This article greatly disturbed me, for several reasons. The concerned teacher first notes that there is seemingly “nothing to gain” from the posters of the kidnapped. She further adds that we are all on the same page about the kidnapped, that they need to come home. It is here that we already have a contradiction. No, we are not all on the same page about the kidnapped. Yes, we all want them home. But this article shows just how far away some of us are from the reality of what is happening.
As is human nature, when exposed to anything, trauma or not, severe or mild, overtime we become desensitized. The further we get from the initial danger/fear/worry/anxiety/stress, the less we relate and the less we carry it with us daily. With each second, minute, hour, day, etc., that goes by, we lose the same feeling we had when this all first happened. As Jews, we don’t just help one another, we feel for one another. We ARE a family.
We know from Chazal that Shevet Levi wasn’t subjugated and enslaved the way the other shevatim were. While their brothers and sisters suffered, they had to watch from the side. Yet, if you look at the various children of the shevatim, you’ll notice something fascinating. Levi named his sons Gershon, Kehas and Merari. The Shlah HaKadosh zy”a writes that each of these names is a reference to the pain the yidden suffered in Egypt. Gershon – ki ger yihyeh zarecha.” Kehas – “shineihem keihos.” Merari – “vayimariru es chayeihem.” Levi didn’t want his sons to grow up simply davening and learning and being aware that their brothers and sisters were suffering. He wanted them to live with that reality, that terrible reality that their family was experiencing, every single day of their lives. It wasn’t enough to merely daven and learn for them, they needed to feel for them as well. After all, Knesses Yisrael is one soul, one heart. When one limb, even the smallest of limbs, is in pain, it affects the whole body. When one letter in the Torah HeKedosha is smudged, the Torah is pasul.
Regarding what the kids in schools are going through being exposed to signs (as well as hearing things from others), I’m sorry your girls have to see those signs. I’m sorry that the reality we live in is one where it is scary to be a Jew, that we have to fight simply for others to allow us to defend ourselves. That we even have to fight to live. I’m sorry that a world and ideology we thought died after the murder of the kedoshim of the Holocaust is creeping up on us. I’m sorry that they may have to deal with the difficult reality of there being men, women and children held hostage by terrorists, but this is a reality that we all need to live with. Every. Single. Day. And not a day will go by that we won’t feel that pain until they are home. We need everyone to see, Jewish and non-Jewish, so that the children, the BABIES rachmana litzlan, and the other innocent men and women, our brothers and sisters, that are currently living through that gehinnom, aren’t alone.
May Hashem protect us, our soldiers, and watch over all those kidnapped and in danger.
With a heavy heart, eagerly awaiting the geulah shleimah and the salvation of the hostages and all klal yisrael,
A Concerned Jew