Dear Klal Yisroel.
It’s already been over a month since the deadly attack and many people have gone back to their regular busy schedules. Many Shuls say a few Kapitlach of Tehillim after each davening and it’s wonderful. However, deep down we all know that this is not enough. I mean we are talking about two hundred hostages that are languishing in the hands of the devil. These Hamas are hardly people and mercy is not in their dictionary. We can only imagine what kind of torture our brothers and sisters are enduring r”l.
We don’t want to think about this as this will make us uncomfortable. However, this approach is the approach of Yishmael’s mother Hagar as she threw him in the bushes as she didnt want to see him die in front of her eyes. Us Jews who are rachmanim b’nei rachmanim, we need to feel the suffering of our brethren. So before you actually say tehillim, picture all the hostages in the hands of the cruelest of men (who are almost not human). This will change the way we daven for them.
Furthermore, we know that the hostages were captured during the saga of Entebbe, Rav Chaim Shmulevitz got up and cried bitterly. He said that when we daven we have to picture it as if it’s our own blood relatives on that plane. After all, we are brothers and sisters. We need to take the same approach to our situation. We need to know that these are our brothers and sisters and we need to take this to heart.
So we are saying now that the quality of our Tefillos needs to intensify for them, We need to make this real and envision their pain and it’s not so difficult to realize what they are going through. We also need to improve the quantity as well. Think for a second. If your son or brother was one of the hostages would you rattle off two kapitlach after davening? Or you would be saying Tehillim non-stop. You would beg Hashem in your own words “please bring him home”. We should do the same for these hostages as well.
Perhaps we should have people saying Tehillim together in every shul finishing the whole thing on a weekly basis with the thirteen middos. This is in addition to the Tehillim one should say on his own time. Perhaps we can have shuls that have Tehillim around the clock. There should be constant speeches of hisorerrus and people should make kabbalos as well.
The bottom line is that our brothers and sisters are in grave danger and we cannot sit back idly. This includes hundreds and thousands of soldiers that are in grave danger as well fighting in the lion’s den. We cannot forget ourselves in Galus as we are surrounded by enemies like seventy wolves versus one sheep [I once heard a beautiful explanation why we are compared to sheep in particular. That’s because the sheep is totally reliant on the shepherd, so too we are like sheep that totally rely on “our” Shepherd, Hashem].
This past Chol Hamoed I was privileged to hear an amazing speech from Rav Avraham Schurr Shlit”a. He asked the crowd the following question. Aren’t you wondering that after seven days of continuous rain, and the forecast didn’t seem too promising when all of the sudden on the first night of Sukkas the clouds gave way and we had a beautiful Yom tov like never before. How did this come about?
Reb Avraham said “I will tell you why”. On Erev Sukkos Klal Yisroel stormed Shomayim with Tefilla that we should be zoche to eat in the Sukka the night of Sukkos, and when Klal Yisroel cries out, Hashem listens. Rav Schur then concluded that we see the power of Tefilla here if we cry out to Hashem with Emes He listens.
Rabbosai, there are stories how non religious Jews are realizing the power of Tefilla as they saw how it helps. On that dreaded day a bunch of terrorists stormed a kibbutz and two non religious Jews were hiding in a portable bathroom and they were davening for seven hours straight, as the terrorists kept passing by without opening the door. This is indeed a miracle. This is the power of Tefilla. Recently, the IDF let out a statement on social media saying “PRAY FOR US”. The Non Jews were all taking in wonderment that the IDF should say such a thing. It’s unheard of. NU WHAT ABOUT US? We need to recognize the power that we have with Tefilla. We can bring the hostages back with our Koach of Tefilla, but we can do even more than that.
Rav Avraham Schurr concluded that just like when we cried out on Erez Sukkas we were answered. If we would cry out to Hashem to take us out of Galus “oy would we be answered”. This is what Hashem is waiting for. He said that many of us feel safe and comfortable here in Galus, but if chas v’shalom one day there would be people all over the streets with machine guns shooting all over oy would we cry out take us out and bring Moshiach. At that point Rav Schurrs face turned colors and he cried out it’s happening right now as we speak. Chazal say that causing one to sin is worse than killing someone. WHEREVER WE GO THEY ARE KILLING OUR NESHAMOS. They are killing our friends and families as well. Whether it’s with shmiras eynayim or other aveiros. If we realize this then we will cry out “TATTE NEM UNZ SHOIN AHEIM”. If we cry out with our full heart then Hashem will for sure accept our tefillos and will whisk us away on the wings of an eagle very very soon. Amein
Pinchas Halevi Doppelt
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