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Amidst the G-dliness of a child’s loss ...

mr. fraenkel first on left
mr. fraenkel first on left
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Amidst the G-dliness of a child’s loss ...

Taking umbrage with the President's characterization of their acts of terrorism as “senseless”, “Palestinian” terrorists-adjectival disputes notwthstanding-kidnapped three mothers' sons in yet another act of “senseless” terror on June 12, 2014.

Previous acts of terror have taught us to expect that kidnappers, such as those who abducted Naftali, Gil and Eyal would soon become their executioners as well. All too regrettably, despite pleas for an immediate release and, failing that, divine intercession, the IDF found the bodies of Naftali, Gil and Eyal discarded in a field northwest of Hevron eighteen days later on June 30th, 2014.

Since Sinai, the Jewish nation has conjoined its spiritual arsenal to its military prowess to forge a formidable weapon with which to defend itself against a relentless succession of enemies sworn to its “final dis-solution”.

That does not mean, however, the decrees from “Heaven” routinely come down in its favor. It seems so often to be the very opposite leading many to ask why the "good" suffer whilst the wicked survive and flourish? Readers may well wonder why incalculably large number of prayers and tehilim (readings from the Book of Psalms) seem to go unanswered? Were the calls for unity and prayer ineffective?

The best answer came from Rachelle Fraenkel, bereaved mother of fifteen-year Naftali, who before learning that her son's body had been found, said: "I have a spiritual world, but it doesn’t lessen any pain and it doesn’t promise me anything because Gd doesn’t work for me. It’s not some kind of trick that if I pray hard enough, he’ll just show up.”

Sh’ma Kolenu (Hear Our Voice)

Sefer Tehilim, known to the outside world as the biblical Book of Psalms, this monumental work of one hundred and fifty chapters of religious poetry most of which Jewish tradition attributes to the muse of King David, is a compendium of the human condition and a literary exegesis of mankind's relationship with and dependency on the Creator for its daily reawakening. Reciting tehilim, Torah communities gathered themselves within their synagogues and houses of study and responded with an outpouring of outcries for the safe return of the three teenagers.

Media coverage personalized the three captives as “our children”. "Our children": Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrach were not soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces but Israeli civilians, a distinction as "meaningless" to the “Palestinian Authority of Terrorists” as Mr. Obama's characterization of their acts of terrorism as "senseless".

Ben Hartman, in an article written for the Jerusalem Post, noted: "Nearly two weeks since Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrach disappeared after being abducted in the West Bank, tens of thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Sunday night in a show of unity and prayer, issuing a call for children to be left outside of the violence of the Mideast conflict." (my emphasis)

To leave the kids out of war, sounds good to me, too good to be true as if intended for an ideal world, a perfect world! A question comes to mind though … 'Wouldn't a perfect world be without wars?’ A nice thought, indeed, and perhaps the Israelis use it as a propaganda tool with which to distinguish between the “good guys” and the “bad guys”.

Sadly, the number of people who blame Israel for its repression of Palestinian statehood aspirations and freedom is growing, especially on the campuses of American colleges and universities.

How could any Jewish Israeli not recognize the oxymoronic nature of Israel calling upon its sworn enemies to fight in a gentlemanly manner, a platitude that means absolutely nothing to people who strap practice "suicide bombs" onto their children to teach them not to fear dying if done in the service of killing Jews.

Mourner's Kaddish-"Yisgadel veyisgadesh shemay raba ..."

More a public declaration of faith by the mourner in The One G-d at a vulnerable time when apostasy could well overwhelm his weakened spiritual state, " … an important moment transpired in the (Israeli) Orthodox Jewish community: Rachelle Fraenkel recited the mourner’s Kaddish at the funeral of her murdered son, Naftali, and the numerous male attendees—including the Israel’s chief rabbi, David Lau—responded 'amen'".

There are those who wonder whether there might not have been the tiniest bit of timing opportunism to put the public's seal of approval on the "straw man issue" of a woman reciting Kaddish in public. There are so many Israeli men who've never heard it before. Welcome gentlemen to today's Jewish reality. Anyone care to question Mrs. Fraenkel's right to have done what she did?

( influential-moment-rachel-fraenkel-says-kaddish-for-son-naftali#sthash.JxHRKMsC.dpuf)

Rachelle Fraenkel’s inestimable contribution to Jewish bereavement theology consists of these remarks which attest to her humility, fairness and acceptance of this decree from the Dayan Emet (the "True Judge): “Prayer is worthy, both before one’s fate is decreed and after. You can not always change a decree. For us it was too late.” Her voice nearly drowning in tears, she added, “The act of prayer is worthy, no matter what the outcome.”

Our hope for the nations of the world is that they begin to recognize the true face of Israel through the bereavement of one of its mothers, Rachelle Fraenkel.

Author's End Note: As a bereaved parent, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the families of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil Ad-Shaer and Eyal Yifrach. I was never struck more powerfully than I was today upon reading Mrs. Fraenkel's words as a new member of the club to which nobody ever wishes to belong. I repeat them here for the elucidation of my readership.

"I have a spiritual world but it doesn't lessen any pain and it doesn't promise me anything because Gd does not work for me. It's not just some kind of trick that if I pray hard enough he'll just show up."

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