Reader-submitted: Where Have All Our Tfillos Gone?

3 kidnappedNever in recent history has Klal Yisroel so United in constant unrestrained tefilla; begging and pleading tearfully for those young and sweet boys to come home to their mothers. Their faces so young, so innocent so full of life!

Yet today we found out that it will never be. Those boys will indeed be brought home to their mothers but not as we had prayed!

Those mothers will never be able to hold , kiss or reassure those sweet young boys! Their faces so full of life, alive no more. This tragedy pains the depths of our souls and our parental instincts scream out in despair as we imagine the crying mothers , uncontrollable as they weep over their childrens lifeless bodies.

Today we cry one last time, one final prayer, Tefilla slipping past our tongue our eyes moist as tears of agony and pain stream down our faces, while our emuna and bitachon take a severe beating.

All of us are undoubtedly plagued by the same question. Some of us are afraid to face it and others may be afraid to acknowledge its existence, but all of us on some level feel it’s insidious nagging and we cannot dredge up the proper response to pacify and silence it’s accusatory cry!

What happened to all our tefillos? How could we hear so much of the power of tefillah yet here after so much heartfelt words they are gone nonetheless showing no signs whatsoever of our tefillah or their merits.

Sure hashems divine plan is beyond our comprehension but how could an entire nations collective pleas day in day out minute after minute be completely ignored?

To this questioning voice I would like to suggest a possibility that even if untrue answers the question by way of analogy. For whatever the true reason it is one that is full of compassion and mercy as my suggestion will soon illustrate.

All of our days are numbered. Each and every one of us! We all have only a specific number of days in which to inhabit this earth and to complete our divine mission. Each day each one of us steadily marches towards the end and nothing we do can stop the hands of time nor slow our arrival to our destination.

Each one of us is preordained to die on a specific day and in a specific manner as we say so many times in our Rosh Hashana tefillos.

These boys days were up and perhaps it is because of that that they were friends in the first place and ultimately ending up in the same spot at the same time on that dreadful day for their destiny’s were intertwined by the Divine will.

It is very possible that their gezeira called for a death that was slow and painful and in the current circumstances that would be fulfilled through horrible torture and pain .

Yet in his infinite kindness hashem desperately seeked out a zchus that could somehow help his beloved children suffer less . Yet there was none to be had. And then in his infinite wisdom he foresaw how much tefilla and tears klal yisroel would shed for these precious children if they were not found and so he perpetrated events to happen exactly that way to elicit the tremendous outpouring off tefilla that we have all just been a part off. And in his tremendous kindness he allowed all of the zchusim of all of our days of davening that he foresaw would occur on the boys behalf and allowed their merits to take effect retroactively and to diminish the severity of the gezeira by allowing those boys a quick and peaceful passing all before our tefillos had even begun.

Today is when they were found because today is the day klal yisroel reached the tremendous quota necessary as payback for the rachamai shamanic that determined and effected the nature of their deaths.

Had they been tortured and then killed publicly perhaps in front of national TV none of us would be davening two weeks later and all of our tefillos woukd never have occurred.

So in fact our tefillos were not ignored at all but quite the opposite. There was no room for our tefillos. Yet the ribbono shel oilam created a scenario that would allow us to pray and pray and pray and he used those merits ahead of time to help ease the pain of these helig Neshamos.

I do not claim to know why Hashem does what he does or to be privy to the divine plan but I do know that his ways are not just just but are perfect and exceptional! I offer this thought as a illustration that can help us fight back against our doubts and nagging thoughts that question were our tefillos went! No tefilla is wasted and every single one is accepted and listened to.

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  1. there was a story years ago also i forgot the exact details of the story but the point is the father of the boy got up by the levaya and thank every one for davening but he said sometime G-d says yes this time he said no. Its very nice of all of your cheshbonos of why this happened, its not that he ignored the prayers he just said “NO”

  2. Yes this is a known question. One known answer is that when we pray for a refu’ah shelaima that doesn’t happen, all our tefilas are still ascending and creating great zechuyos to the benefit of the niftar. Our tefilas give great satisfaction, so to speak, to our Father in Heaven, which counts as a tremendous credit to the neshomos that inspired them.
    Another element in this case is that most or perhaps all of us, especially in Eretz Yisroel, learned of the kidnapping only after the murder of the boys. We were not praying for techi’as hameisim, nor would we have wanted to. By Friday afternoon in the US, and by motzei Shabbos in Eretz Yisroel, it was already too late. We see this happen in certain deaths of gedolim who are universally cherished, but taken away before Am Yisroel can mount an appeal . This is the Hand of Hashem, to prevent our prayers from overturning a decree that He wants to stand.

  3. what will we all accept upon ourselves in the merit of these 3 holy neshamos that left us forever & are now in the True world?

    Perhaps if we all start to daven every day with our hearts & feelings-versus just flying through davening so we can run home…-then we would not have needed such a tragedy to occur in order to bring us to daven with truth & sincerety.

    May everyone continue davening as strong as we were when we didn’t know where they were, & may all your tefillos be answered.

    May their neshamos all have an aliya

  4. As I recall, the father of Nachshon Waxman said “just as a parent sometimes must tell his child “no” and the child thinks that it’s not fair but the parent knows that saying “no” is really good for the child, so to hashem heard the prayers but said “no” because a parent can say “no” to their children. He said this at the levaya when he was in the midst of his pain.

    Rav Pam ztl wrote a letter praising the parents stating that Mr and Mrs. Waxman made a huge kiddush hashem. The letter is printed in the artscroll biography of Rav Pam.

    I think a similar though can expressed regarding the mothers of these kedoshim. Time and time again they have publicly expressed their emunah in Hakodosh Barchu. Mrs Frenkel said publicly and on video (prior to getting the terrible news) that “even if it ends with a tragic ending, we must remain strong in our emunah.” Special special people.

  5. עם היוודע הבשורה המרה ובהגיעה להגר”ח קנייבסקי שליט”א על שלושת הבחורים שגופותיהם נמצאו היום, אמר הרב קנייבסקי שלבחורים היתה זכות גדולה שזכו לאחד בתפילות את עם ישראל
    ירוחם שמואלביץ
    ב’ תמוז תשע”ד 21:41

    Xבצל הדיווחים המגיעים מהשטח על סופם המר של בחורים והעצב שירד על עם ישראל, הובאה הידיעה גם למרן הגר”ח קנייבסקי שליט”א.

    הרב קנייבסקי הצטער מאוד על השמועה הנוראה, אך אמר שיש לראות בעצם הסיפור כי לשלושה היתה זכות גדולה, על ידי כך שהביאו לאחדות גדולה בעם ישראל,ובגללם הרבו בתפילות, והרבה יהודים התחזקו במצוות ומעשים טובים.

    הרב קנייבסקי הדגיש שתפילות עם ישראל אינן שבות ריקם.

  6. Hamispalel lisheovar, harei zu tefilas shov? Most, if not all the tefilos for their safe return were after they were already murdered. Although we were unaware of it at the time and davened for them, in essence that is a tefilos shov as it is lisheovar. We did not receive a negative answer to such tefilos; we requested a yeshuah after the fact.
    R’ Chaim Kanievsky said that our tefilos were not for nought. It was indeed proper for us to be mispalel when we were unaware of the negative outcome. It is also important that we always include Acheinu Kol Beis Yisroel or besoich shear cholei Yisroel in our tefilos so that it is a bakasha beyond the individuals we are primarily focusing on. May we be zoicheh to the geula as a final end to our tzoros.

  7. First of all a tefilla lisheover is only a tefillas shav because it is redicolous to daven about events that have already occurred. The problem is not in the actual tefilla but in the mistaken intentions of the one praying.

    Therefore in any case where one didn’t yet know the outcome although it is possible there has already been one is not called a tefillas shav. That is why even though by these boys the tefilla was indeed lisheover but it does not carry with it the psul of tefillas shav.

    And this was precisely my point. The ribbono shel oilom could have hid the outcome from us so that we could pray for so long and perhaps he allowed the merits to take effect before they began resulting in a more peaceful death….

  8. So now that we have seen the astounding emunah of these three families and we have seen that they live their lives as frum yidden who are completely devoted to HKB”H, I would like to know which Lakewood schools would accept the children of these families if they lived in Lakewood. Do we really feel complete achdus with these families or is it only as long as they stay in Eretz Yisroel?

  9. In regard to gb’s comment. The idea that I feel so strongly about is how beautiful it was to see the entire klal yisroel united on behalf of the well being of these children. It made no difference if they were sefardi, ashkenazi, mizrachi, or the like, and yet you had gantz klal yisroel sincerely hoping and praying that they would be zoche to a speedy yeshua. What nachas ruach this must have been to Hashem!!! May we continue sincerely caring for our fellow yidden, no matter what background or affiliation!!!

  10. gb – you have a valid point, however this forum will not solve the situation so it is better that we don’t get involved in machlokes with emails about the subject back and forth. instead, each of us as individuals should relate to each other in a respectful, mentchlich way….to Jews who dress or act differently than us, as well as to non-Jews. Hashem will see that we are trying to maintain our achdus and we should leave the rest up to Hashem.

  11. I mist be a huge, hidden Tzaddik. I never, for one second, wondered what happened to all those tefilos. Do you know how many healthy babies were born these last 2 weeks ? People healed ? Successful surgeries ? Jobs found ? Shidduchim finalized ? Deals closed ? Heartbeats ? Come on.

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