Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Oy, Meh Hayah Lanu!

Almost exactly 76 years ago, on June 29, 1938, Shlomo Ben-Yosef HY"D of Rosh Pina was hung by the British.

He was the first of the Olei HaGardom (also known as the Harugei HaMalchut) – the twelve Jewish men whom the British sentenced to death in the pre-State era.

In response, two days later, on Rosh Chodesh Tamuz 5698, Rav Yaakov Moshe Charlap zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav, wrote a letter of chizuk to his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.

This afternoon, Rav Gidon Binyamin shlit”a, the Rav of Nof Ayalon, read an excerpt from that letter at the funeral of Naftali Fraenkel HY"D.

(An English translation follows below.)

א' דראש חודש תמוז תרח"צ

בני יקירי, ורעיתך היקרה, והילד היקר - ד' עמכם.

אמנם המחשבות סוערות מאוד מעליית לגרדום אחד מבני ישראל על לא דבר. לא הועילו כל ההפצרות, לא הועילו כל ההתחננות. גם כל חלונות השמים נסגרו. כל התפילות, השוועות, הזעקות, והתחינות לא בקעו את העננים.

אשרי לאיש הזה שעל ידו נתעוררו כל כך הרבה הרהורי תשובה. אשרי לו שעל ידו נתאחדו לנקודה אחת כל ישראל. אך אוי מה היה לנו, מדוע שתם תפילתנו, אבל ביטחוננו בו יתברך שמו כי ינקום נקמת דם עמו לעינינו, ובמהרה נראה בבנין ציון וירושלים, ובבנין בית מקדשנו וכו'.

אביכם המעתיר בעדכם ומברך אתכם,
יעקב משה

Rosh Chodesh Tamuz 5698

My dear son, your dear wife, and the dear child,

May Hashem be with you.

Indeed our thoughts are in great turmoil after one of Bnei Yisrael was sent to the gallows for no reason. All the entreaties were to no avail. All the supplications were to no avail. Even all the windows of Heaven were closed. All the prayers, the outcries, the shouts, and the pleadings did not pierce the clouds.

Fortunate is this man, who because of him, so many were roused to contemplate repentance. Fortunate is he, who because of him, all of Israel was united as one. But woe, what has befallen us! Why were our prayers unrequited? But our trust is in Him, blessed is His Name, that He will avenge His nation’s blood before our eyes, and we will speedily witness the rebuilding of Tzion and Yerushalayim and the rebuilding of our Beit HaMikdash, etc.

Your father who bestows abundance upon you and blesses you,
Yaakov Moshe

May we continue to relish the beautiful achdut (unity) of the past two and a half weeks; may the three bereaved families be consoled among the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim; and may the memories of Eyal HY”D, Gil-Ad HY”D, and Naftali HY”D be blessed.

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