Yom Ha’Zikaron

We just watched a video of the funeral of one of the soldiers who was killed this summer during the war. One soldier. One soldier, a huge void in the world. And there are sixty six more. And all the civilians. And the people who’ve died to terror attacks, unspeakable tragedies that should never have happened.

If G-d allowed it to happen, then it must be good. Why does it hurt so much?

For me, it’s not just human pain, but guilt. These are the pains before Moshiach, but they are not inevitable. They are to wake us up and bring us together. If we were already there, the pain we now feel, the pain of mothers and fathers and sisters and fiancees and brothers and wives and children, might not have happened.

Maybe this is what G-d intended. Guilt, however crushing, is not the answer.

All we need to do is to remember the pain. Remember how we feel when our nation is attacked. Remember that pain every time you forget the value a single soul has. Remember this pain EVERY TIME you encounter another Jew. Treat them as though the fate of the world, the fate of every human being, rests on how you treat this person.

Because it does.

Dovid’s prayers

My school has a program where, at lunch break once a week, those who are interested crowd into one of the classrooms. The purpose is not to break the world record for the game sardines- I don’t think there are enough of us for it- but to say Tehillim. The goal is to say the entire Tehillim once over.

I say crowd not only because the room is fairly small, but also because there are more of us than usual. At the beginning, it was a struggle to get enough people to do all about 50 cards. Attendance has fluctuated since, but we have, at some points, done the entire Tehillim twice.

Today, when a few others and I got in a minute or so late- rather than the five it often takes to start- there were no cards left! The entire room was free of chatter, texting, side conversations- just the soft murmur of Dovid’s Prayers.