The Day After

It’s already been two days since the news of the Har Nof massacre reached our ears.

Two days of crying and pain; two days of numbness, of living in a fog of disbelief.

The world has changed since Tuesday.

When I went to sleep on Monday night, Har Nof was a neighborhood where no one had to worry about terror attacks.

It was not near “Ben Yehuda” and not even near “town.”

It was a quiet, frum, residential neighborhood where, if you wanted to “go out” you were satisfied to frequent the simple and modest food-stop “Holy Bagel” to enjoy a bagel with an Israeli imitation of American cream cheese.

It was a place where so many of our daughters attend seminary (including my own), and we as parents were always consoled by the fact that it was “out of the way” and safe and secure.

It was a place where Sephardim and Ashkenazim live in peace and harmony.

It was a place where men are serious about their learning and women are serious about their mitzvos.

It wa a place where children play freely and where English is commonly heard, as many serious American immigrants to Israel decide to settle there, because they view Har Nof as a place where they can grow and be inspired to higher levels of Torah and mitzvos.

That was until Tuesday morning.

The world changed on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Har Nof joined the unenviable list of places such as Maalot and Chevron, Mercaz HaRav and Ben Yehuda; places which have been seared into the collective memory of Klal Yisrael as locations of tragedy and calamities.

No longer will anyone enter a shul in Har Nof and feel the sense of security and calmness that permeated the neighborhood prior to Tuesday.

From now on, every mispallel must look over his shoulder and wonder if the Middle Eastern man standing in the doorway is a friend or potential murderer.

Children will no longer frolic as they did before Tuesday, and mothers will no longer sit in a care-free mode on the benches.

The world of Har Nof will never be the idyllic, tranquil and serene world it was up until 7:01 a.m. on Tuesday, 25 Marcheshvan 5775.

And although life goes on and the shul is once again functioning and learning will continue and simchos will be held there and minyanim have already resumed … still, something has changed; something has been altered and defiled, and that is sad.

May our prayers for a brighter future be fulfilled speedily and in our days with the coming of Moshiach.


Ron Yitzchok Eisenman is the Rav of Congregation Ahavas Israel in Passaic, NJ