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Lessons in Faith, Dignity and Courage
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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Millions of heartbroken Jewish parents and educators worldwide were struggling to find the language to explain the inexplicable to our children and students in the aftermath of the searing news regarding the murder of our beloved brothers Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, Hashem Yikom Damam (may G-d avenge their blood).

(Note to Readers: Please see "Teiku" something we posted earlier today with a beautiful Torah thought from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt’l on processing tragic news, and for practical advice to parents and educators on how to explain the inexplicable to our children and students. I hope you find it helpful. YH)

Well, we now need to look no further than the soft spoken, eloquent words of their parents at the funerals to help us process this tragedy in our own hearts/minds and to help the children in our care do the same.

With superhuman faith, dignity and courage, they spoke lovingly about their children, celebrated their lives and accomplishments, noted their deep pain and sorrow, thanked us for our prayers and love and expressed their heartfelt appreciation to the thousands of people who searched for their children.

No anger. No hatred. No calls for retribution. Just a humble acceptance of Hashem's judgement with sorrow and fortitude.

My dear friends; the noble response of these 3 amazing families to this tragedy is a teachable moment for us to speak to our children and students about the core values that we treasure, as were the remarks of the maspidim (those who eulogized) at their joint burial service.

The Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Dov Zinger spoke beautifully about the middos of his beloved students and Chief Rabbi Lau addressed the unity and strength displayed by our people over the past three weeks.

We should also use this opportunity to speak to them about the toxic effect that hatred has upon individuals and communities.

Several of the parents contrasted the hatred of our enemies with the refined quality of the children whose lives they took.

Prime Minister Netanyahu noted this in his eulogy when he remarked, "Look at the difference between our enemies and us. We treasure life, they embrace death." And President Shimon Peres said, "Terror is a boomerang. It is directed at us, but it will destroy them."

May Hashem comfort the families of our beloved brothers as only He can and may the achdus (unity) this horrible ordeal brought to all of us usher in the coming of Moshiach speedily in our times.

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