An Ocean of Tears

The tragic events unfolding in Gaza over the past three days that have cost the lives of 18 Israeli soldiers, Hy”d, painfully illuminate why the Israeli military was so reluctant to initiate a ground operation.

It is becoming increasing clear just how dangerous, cunning, and stubborn an enemy Hamas is.

Some predicted that a massive show of Israeli force on the ground would quickly subdue Hamas, and Israeli soldiers would be able to clean out the terror tunnels with relative ease; but the snake struck back.

Hamas transports terrorists in U.N. ambulances, vilely stores missiles under hospital buildings and kindergartens, and uses civilians — its own people — as human shields. Yet, for most of the Western world, and especially in much of the mainstream media coverage, the Palestinians are seen as the victims and the IDF as the aggressors. Lo ye’uman ki yesupar

As the shattered families of the fallen soldiers grieve their terrible loss, Klal Yisrael weeps along with them, as do our ancestors in Shamayim.

It is related that after the Ruzhiner Rebbe was niftar, his son Harav Avraham Yaakov of Sadigora served as sandak at a bris; the mohel was a grandson of Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov. During the seudas mitzvah, the mohel turned to the Sadigora Rebbe and inquired, “Did we not hear from your father that he will not rest in Gan Eden until the Geulah comes?”

The Sadigora Rebbe did not reply. Moments later the mohel dozed off and saw the Ruzhiner Rebbe standing knee-deep in a great river. In his dream the mohel asked, “What is this river?” The Ruzhiner Rebbe responded, “This is the river of the tears of Yidden crying over their plight. I will not leave until I have brought the Geulah…”

In the nearly 200 years since the holy Ruzhiner’s petirah, this river of tears has become a mighty ocean.

It is the our sacred obligation everywhere to intensify our tefillos and increase our study of Torah and acts of chessed as a zechus for acheninu bnei Yisrael in general, and for the Jewish soldiers in and near Gaza in particular.

May we soon merit the day when Hashem will eliminate death forever and erase the tears from all faces, wiping off the shame of His nation from the entire earth (Yeshayah 25:8).