Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues
"When you go to wage war in your Land against an enemy who oppresses you, you shall sound short blasts of the trumpets, and you shall be recalled before Hashem, your G-d, and you shall be saved from your foes" (Bemidbar 10:9).
A few weeks ago, Shavuos time, we discussed the fact that the holy Torah is what has protected the Jewish Nation from its oppressors for thousands of years. As we declare nightly in our Evening Prayers, "For they are our lives and the lengthening of our days." This week, in Israel, it was proven once again.
Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, shlita, is the head of "Ohr LaNoar," an organization which establishes and runs moadonim - after-school "clubhouses" for non-religious youth around Israel. A few days ago, he received a thrilling letter from the leader of the moadon in Pardes Katz, Yosef Weitzman. Following is a synopsis of what he wrote.
"Due to the constant missile attacks on the town of Sderot, many residents have fled to nearby towns. Last Sunday, Chaim Shachar brought his family to the home of his relatives in Pardes Katz. Refael, who lives there, attends the local moadon regularly and he convinced his visiting 16 year old cousin, Maor, to come with him too. Maor enjoyed the atmosphere of the moadon, and was impressed with the sincerity of those who taught him about his religious roots - something he had never heard about before. He began attending every evening, especially Shavuos night, when they were up learning all night long.
"Thursday, a day after the holiday, a Kassam missile landed near the Shachar's home in Sderot, so Chaim had to return there to inspect the damage, which was light, and apply for government sponsored repairs. Since things usually progress quite slowly in Israel, Chaim had to remain there for a few days.
"This Sunday morning, Refael called me and told me that Maor is planning to return to Sderot. He suggested that I try to convince him to stay a while longer and strengthen his religious convictions in the moadon. I spoke to him on the phone for an hour and a half and then I went over to the house and continued to speak with him. Finally, Maor agreed to remain that night only and to come to the moadon; but he insisted that the next morning he would be returning to Sderot. He kept his word and came that night and learned Torah and davened Ma'ariv.
"Very early next morning, I received a phone call from a hysterical Chaim Shachar from Sderot who called me and said, 'Thank you very much for saving my son from a certain death!' He explained that last night a Kassam missile made a direct hit on their apartment and landed on Maor's bed! His entire room was totally destroyed and the whole apartment was badly ruined. Chaim was only lightly wounded and was taken to the hospital from where he was calling me now. A little later we spoke again about the miracle that had saved his son's life and he agreed to begin observing Shabbos and to put on tefillin every day.
"One of the most amazing things about this story is that on Sunday night we were learning the Gemara Ta'anis (24b) which relates that Rava performed a miracle and was reprimanded by his deceased father for 'bothering' Hashem. His father warned him not to sleep at home that night and so he slept somewhere else. The next morning, Rava's regular bed had signs of knife blades from demons that had come to harm him. Maor had remarked, 'How come only they saw revealed miracles? I want to see one two.' I responded that we are not on the spiritual level that they were and are not worthy of these revelations. But he insisted, 'I want to see a revealed miracle.'
"You can well imagine how everyone in our moadon felt when they heard the story. It strengthened us all in our belief in Hashem and His holy Torah which protects us from harm. Tonight, Maor's father is coming to join us all in a 'Meal of Thanksgiving' to praise Hashem for His miracles and thank Him for His protection.
"May we all be privileged to see Hashem's wonders and to share them with many others."
Shema Yisrael Torah Network