16 March 2011

A Short Vort

I just received this from a friend in New York. Our next Shabbos is Shabbos Parshat Zachor, so I am posting this for Shabbat in Eretz HaKodesh:

The Short Vort from Rabbi Y. Eisenman,
Ahavas Israel Shul in Passaic NJ

Good Afternoon!
Today is the 7th Adar Beis 5771 and March 13, 2011

How to we respond to the massacre in Itamar?
What can we do?
How should we react?
Obviously, the ways of Hashem are beyond our comprehension.
Obviously we must leave true and complete justice to Hashem.
Nevertheless, we must react and we must respond; indeed, how can we not react?
We have just lost three Jewish children and their parents.

The Torah tells us after the death of the two sons’ of Aharon:

Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the Lord spoke, , 'I will be sanctified through those near to Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.' “And Aaron was silent (Vayikra 10:3)
The response of Aharon to the death of his sons was silence.
So too let us respond with silence.

This Shabbos is Parshas Zachor.
This Shabbos we remember Amalek and how they wanted to destroy us.
This week we are told to remember; and remember we must do.
What better way to remember the kedoshim (holy martyrs) of Itamar than through ‘silence’?
We are well aware how our Torah leaders throughout the generations taught us that talking in Shul brings about calamities (Chas V’Shalom) to our community.

Therefore, as a proper response to what has occurred in Itamar I am proposing an SOS program.


Shabbos, Parshas Zachor – 19 March 2011

We all should accept upon ourselves (bli neder) not to talk AT ALL in Shul for the entire time we are in Shul.

Meaning, from the time we enter the Shul (the actual sanctuary- not including an anteroom or the lobby) until the davening totally ends- [which means the completion of Adon Olam (or however your Shul ends davening)] – everyone; men, women and children- agree to accept upon themselves not to talk anything outside of tefillah (prayer) for the duration of the entire davening.

This includes NOT talking between Aliyos.
This includes NOT saying ‘Good Shabbos’ from the time davening has begun until it totally ends.
This includes not talking to our children who if they need to be ‘shushed’ and/or quieted down should not be there in the first place.
This includes everything outside of davening itself.

You may ask that this is very difficult?
You may ask that this is too hard to ask of the kehilla?

I ask you in retort:
How can we not respond to the massacre in Itamar in a meaningful way?
How can we not make this ‘minor’ sacrifice of being silent for one Shabbos davening while the five kedoshim of Itamar have already made the ultimate sacrifice?

Therefore, I am asking of all of you who will daven with us this Shabbos to assist us in responding to the tragedy by bettering ourselves and with self-improvement in the manner of Aharon HaKohen - And Aaron was silent.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

A note to those of our readers who do not daven with us at Ahavas Israel in Passaic:
If you feel this SOS program is for you and for your Shul/community- please feel free to forward this and institute this in your Shul.
I do not care at all if you quote me or not.
I just care about doing something meaningful as a response to the massacre.
How beautiful and meaningful it would be if all Shuls all over the world would be ‘silent’ for this Shabbos as a response to the terrible tragedy of Itamar.
May Hashem ‘hear’ our silence response as He did to the silence of Aharon.

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