The tragic news this week in Israel of three boys who were kidnapped by Hamas is overwhelming. Yet, at the same time, we need to contemplate what we can ultimately do. There are no words to express the pain that the families of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali must be feeling. Yet watching the videos of their families, I could not help but be moved by the hope that these families were pouring into their words. I felt that they were not only hugging each other in support, but also embracing us a nation. As unbelievable as it may seem, these unfortunate families were actually sending a message of support to the rest of us.
It is this hope that inspires me, and so many others. We are all looking to do something; and as I check the internet hourly, I am moved by all the activity in communities around the world. As I write this, I have just completed a chapter in Tehillim (Psalms), which via coordination through internet posts, I read along with thousands all over the world; a chapter in Tehillim, where we asked together of God to help bring us out of the depths of despair and bring our boys home.
What can you and I do? Three things.
Pray. Love. Remember.
We need to pray in whatever way we feel meaningful, that these boys will be returned to their families in good health. If you have never said Tehillim before, you can find it in the back of the Artscroll siddur, (or online @ http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16222 ), and pick a few chapters to read with these boys in mind.
We need to love each other more and be more tolerant. We need to learn the lesson of this week’s Torah reading (Korach), that arguments for the sake of personal gain are not always healthy.
We need to remember that these kidnapped boys are our children too. The unity of the Jewish people is something we must remember now but also must be a goal for the future. We cannot forget the strength of the values of the Jewish people, where we come from, and the power of being as one nation.
Let us do these three things, and hope that the words of the prophet Samuel from this week’s haftorah will come true:
“For the Lord will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake; for the Lord has sworn to make you a people for Himself.”
Let’s hope our boys come home soon. The entire Jewish nation is waiting for them.