The Har Nof Aftermath

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By Yonatan Gordon

It’s been nearly a week now since the massacre in Har Nof and the passage of time still seems superficial. Not because I don’t want to move on, to continue with life. But because something has changed and it’s hard not to feel frozen until that “something” is resolved.

When the Mumbai massacre took place, I was sitting at my computer much like now, attempting to do some work but feeling incapable of doing so. Upon hearing the rumors then, I began checking CNN frantically like many of us. And when the scrolling headline at the top read “rabbi and wife found…” everything went numb.

The day was Rosh Chodesh Kislev six years ago. A day that begins the light-filled month culminating in the holiday of Chanukah. But at that moment, we felt the opposite… the light, holy souls were taken from us…. and so we cried.

God save us, in these past six years we have experienced much… too much. Dalia Lemkus HY”D, the baby Chaya Zissel Braun HY”D, on and on… But now we have reached the end of the line. God willing, the last moments of exile.

The reason for writing articles like these is to inspire hope. That the public should appreciate that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that light with the coming of Moshiach is fast approaching. But while I encourage each of you to seek out examples, I have one to share. Something that personally gave me encouragement and that hopefully will bring you some encouragement as well.

It actually comes from the most unlikely place – the opposite of holiness. It came from an interview conducted on arab children. Without going into too much detail, the point that it important for us is that these children have abandoned their regular lives, their studies, and can only think about planning the next day’s attacks against Jews. Why is this significant?

If you look at pictures of Joseph’s Tomb, Rachel’s Tomb, from a hundred years back, you’ll notice one common theme throughout. Instead of the arab houses and structures today, you’ll see wide open expanses. But when the Jewish people began returning to the Holy Land, began praying with regularity at these holy sites, then the forces that fight holiness came to oppose.

The truth is that this is only a test. If we would continue to pray, continue to settle the Land of Israel and stand up for truth (that God gave the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, etc…), then the opposition would disappear and Moshiach would come immediately. As Rabbi Ginsburgh stated last Thursday night at David’s Tomb (to paraphrase): “If we want Mashiach, Mashiach will come now at this moment. If we want to make a revolution, we can. If we don’t – we don’t.”

From the seat of evil we come to good. From their incessant and frenzied desire to throw more rocks, more fireworks, etc… we can learn a powerful lesson. That today instead of combating against a specific holy place, the disruption is about disruption itself. To distract us from the task of bringing the final Redemption. And because we are so close, so close to the coming of Moshiach, even the children from their camps are consumed with the act of distracting us from this reality.

The way that some phrase this is that now we know this is a religious war. Since they are targeting synagogues, now we know that what they find contention with is not some political body, but the holy nation, the Jewish people. The truth is, as mentioned above, this was always the case. But now that we see this to be true, that the fight is a fight of diversion and subterfuge, where do we go from here?

  1. To realize that Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the other threats that make headlines on a daily basis are there to distract us from our goal of bringing Moshiach. According to Kabbalah and Chassidut, evil has no existence. And once we shine the light a little brighter, the spirit of evil will be removed and Moshiach will come.
  2. To increase in heartfelt prayer and teshuvah (returning to God and His Torah). As Rabbi Shmuel Goldstein — survivor of the Har Nof attack – said yesterday, “”Because it happened in a holy place, we have to keep the holiness of the Shabbat… and that that way Hashem should keep watch over us.”
  3. To rally around a revolution that has created a Torah-based plan for eradicating terrorism. As mentioned in previous post, I am a member of the Derech Chaim movement for this reason.
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