By Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried
Dear Rabbi Fried,
My husband and I have had trouble sleeping out of worry and concern for the danger every city in Israel finds itself.
Besides the obvious that we need to pray, is there anything you can offer to give some perspective on what’s happening over there?
— Marsha K.
Perhaps we could all schedule a 3 a.m. meeting this week; I’ve been awake too, so we might as well be up together! It also doesn’t help to hear that my children and grandchildren are back and forth between their homes and their bomb shelters.
By the time this column gets printed it is possible this ordeal will have, hopefully, ended. It also may have escalated and still be progressing, in which case I hope and pray it will progress the way we need it to for our future safety.
In any event, I will share what is on my mind at this time and hope it will provide you with some food for thought and a frame of reference from whence to think.
One thought I have had in mind in recent days is the incredible open miracle of hundreds of deadly missiles literally raining down upon a tiny country the size of Israel, without a single casualty. I cannot prophesize how this will continue, but in any event what has already transpired is a miracle of mega-proportions and is something we need to stand back and take notice!
Despite all the tremendous success of the Iron Dome defense system, any person with his or her eyes open will see that we obviously have a “Heavenly Dome” defense system in place. Even homes directly hit and destroyed saw no casualties.
A kindergarten in the south had a missile land in its courtyard…with the children due to arrive a few minutes later.
A bedroom of a home with a nursery school inside was hit directly, destroying only the bedroom but not detonating; securing the children in the other room’s safety.
A gas station in central Ashdod had a line full of cars and a parking lot with a tanker holding 35,000 liters of gas ready to refill the station; when it was hit, the tanker did not ignite and all the drivers got out with no serious injuries besides property damage. All the station workers and firefighters proclaimed this as an unprecedented miracle. And the list goes on…
I can’t help but think of what I wrote in last week’s column concerning the seemingly futile prayers uttered for weeks to rescue three boys who were already murdered: “…no prayer is ever for naught. Jewish tradition teaches us that every prayer makes a mark in heaven. When one cries to our Heavenly Father or prays for deliverance from a sickness, danger or otherwise and the answer is ‘no’; that prayer, or that tear, is deposited in a “Heavenly bank,” awaiting withdrawal when the proper time comes that it is needed for the answer to be ‘yes.’”
It’s obvious to me and many others that those tearful, sincere prayers uttered from the depths of the hearts of the Jewish people for the three young martyrs and deposited in the “Heavenly prayer bank” are now being withdrawn to be used as ammunition for the “Heavenly Dome” defense system.
That defense system is being charged and run by the amazing togetherness, the “ahavas Yisrael” exhibited just a couple short weeks ago by the joining hands of Jews of every stripe and color, all sides of the isle, religious and secular, into one beating heart of prayer and love. The Al-mighty took notice and is giving us a loving nod of approval and a hug, which would be a real shame if we didn’t take notice.
If we would only continue to express our unity and love for each other and continue to look Heavenward for our protection, God’s loving hug will remain with us and protect us from our worst enemies.
Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried, noted scholar and author of numerous works on Jewish law, philosophy and Talmud, is founder and dean of DATA, the Dallas Kollel. Questions can be sent to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.