Unfortunately, we’re sought of used to it.
“The IDF has moved into…”
The IDF is one of the best armies in the world.
And probably the most humane army in the history of the world.
But we need to remind ourselves of something very important.
The “IDF” is made up of thousands of sweet Jewish boys.
Who would never hold a gun in their hands if our enemies didn’t force them to.
We need to think about them. To appreciate their sacrifice.
And we need to pray for their safety. And for the success of their mission.
… We’ve spoken about Professor Yisrael Aumann.
The Israeli Jew who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Professor Aumann is also a student of the Talmud.
And was a regular at the weekly Talmud lecture of Rabbi Yisroel Gustman, one of the great Torah scholars of our generation.
Yisrael Aumann brought pride to Israel and to the Jewish People.
He also made the supreme sacrifice.
His son, Shlomo, fell in battle in Lebanon in 1982.
… Rabbi Gustman came to the Shiva home. And sat down next to Professor Aumann.
And this is what he said.
“I’m sure you don’t know this, but I had a son named Meir. A beautiful child.
The Germans took him from my arms and killed him.
… I will tell you what is happening in the world of truth. In heaven.
According to our tradition, all Jews killed because they were Jews are holy.
They’re called “Kedosim”. The “holy ones”.
My son Meir is in a very special place reserved for those holy Jews.
Rabbi Gustman took Professor Aumann’s hand and continued.
“Yisrael. I want you to know something.
In that special place in heaven?
Your son Shlomo has a very special place.
My son Meir died because he was a Jew.
But your son gave his life defending the Jewish People and the Land of Israel!
I was never able to sit Shiva for my Meir.
So let me sit with you a little longer”.
… This story is not meant to be a “downer”!
Rabbi Gustman would not have wanted that.
I had the privilege of knowing him.
Always a smile on his face. He loved life. Loved Torah.
The first time I met him, he kissed me!
Because he loved every single Jew!
… But he would have insisted that we stop and think about our soldiers.
To pray for the kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit.
His Hebrew name is Gilad ben (son of) Aviva.
And for the kidnapped teenager, Eliyahu Asheri.
Eliyahu Pinchas ben Miriam.
All the best,