Reflecting on The Atar Family, Z”l

I was horrified when I opened the Hamodia weekly (Oct. 31, 2018) and saw the screaming headline about the Atar family tragedy, where both parents and an entire family of six children were wiped out, R”l, in a horrific car accident. Hashem Yerachem!

First I saw the opening cover picture of the frum Yid with a hat and jacket and his tzitzis, davening as if he was saying Tachnun for the 11 Kedoshim who were killed al kiddush Hashem in Pittsburgh, Hy”d. Then, I am hit with this second tragedy in Eretz Yisrael. Acheinu kol beis Yisrael…

Someone in shul asked me why I am krechtzing. I answered him: Because he’s not krechtzing.

Rabbi Frand said that the reason the Kohen Gadol has to go into the Kodesh Kodashim on Yom Kippur is to undo the traveler’s tefillah that it shouldn’t rain on him while he’s traveling. Is he so selfish that he doesn’t want it to rain for Klal Yisrael who need rain? Rabbi Frand goes on to explain that all he’s doing is letting out an innocent krechtz: “Oy, I’m getting wet from the rain.” But that krechtz is so powerful that you need the Kohen Gadol to undo it on the holiest day of the year — Yom Kippur — and in the holiest place — the Kodesh Kadoshim! The koach of a krechtz!

Unfortunately, Klal Yisrael has a lot to krechtz about in these tragic days of Ikvesa D’Mishicha Chevlei Leidas Moshiach, as the Chofetz Chaim explains in sefer Shem Olam Shaar Hischazkus [simanim 12, 13, and 14].

Harav Shmuel Brudny, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Mir Yeshiva, once was maspid Eliezer Shain, who died as a chassan; instead of gathering to walk him down to the chuppah, we accompanied his aron at the levayah. Rav Shmuel quoted the Navi that there will come a time in sof galus when you won’t be able to come up for air from one tzarah before there will be another one, chalilah.

The Chofetz Chaim explains that this is a good sign. Just as a woman goes through labor pains before birth, so, too, these are simanim of Chevlei Leidas Moshiach! B’karov. We will iy”H dance together very soon with Eliezer Shain, the 11 korbanos from Pittsburgh, the Atar family and the Sassoon family along with Moshiach and the chassan v’kallah who were tragically niftar on the Nassau Expressway last year. Od yishama b’arei Yehudah uvechutzos Yerushalayim, kol sasson v’kol simchah, kol chassan v’kol kallah.

B’soros Tovos Yeshuos v’nechamos.

Rabbi Moshe Shochet