Achdut is the Key
Yaakov Shwekey - Lo Ya’avod
A young Israeli man who survived last week’s murderous terrorist attack in Bulgaria was pictured saying a prayer upon returning to Israel. The man, 21-year-old Matan Sabah of Be’er Sheva, covered his eyes and said the “Shema Yisrael” prayer.
The ancient “Shema Yisrael” proclaims God’s unity. It’s words are “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is One.”. It is part of the daily prayers, but also said when in danger and as a reaffirmation of faith.
The photo of the wounded Sabah praying at Ben-Gurion Airport grabbed attention worldwide. Many media outlets ran the picture in their coverage of the attack.
The bombing killed five Israelis and wounded many more. Bulgarian police are working to identify the suicide bomber involved, and are hunting down other suspects as well. A terrorist cell linked to Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack, but its claim has yet to be confirmed.
A team of volunteers from the ZAKA emergency response organization was in Burgas, Bulgaria last week to clear the scene of the attack and ensure that those killed would have a proper burial. The group found a set of tefillin [phylacteries, ed.] that was undamaged in the blast.
A member of the team said finding the tefillin was an emotional experience. “Reuven lifted them and kissed them… In painful situations like that, when you see unbearable things, to suddenly see something positive, that’s what breaks you,” he said. “It’s something that gives strength in the midst of tremendous pain.”
“It’s not joy,” he added. “But it does something. Your eyes start to tear up.”
- Maayana Miskin, Arutz Sheva
|—||Prime Minister Netanyahu|
Now in Israel, there is much discussion regarding enlistment in the IDF - whether or not Chareidi and Arab citizens that are currently not serving should have to, and how that would be done.
How does everyone feel about this?
I believe that every citizen of Israel has a responsibility to serve the country, especially when they are receiving both protection and in many cases financial support from the country. Having said that, the problem that Chareidim have with compromising halacha in the army is a very valid concern, something that Israel, as the Jewish State needs to seriously consider. I don’t believe that the solution to this problem is monetary sanctions or forcing them to serve. I believe that there needs to be an option for national service, apart from military service for Chareidim. In addition, I believe that the government and the army need to improve the situation for religious soldiers - this incidentally concerns not only Chareidi soldiers, but all of the religious soldiers in the army. There are ways for the army to accommodate these soldiers - there is already Nachal Chareidi, special units for these soldiers, and I believe that if the army and the Chareidi leaders work together to create an environment in which these soldiers will not be compromised, this will hopefully be a way to help fix the problem - it is vital that every citizen in Israel gives to his country as Israel is a country that needs their army to survive, but this should not be done in a way which causes Jews to compromise halacha in any way.
|—||Yitzchak Pass, father of Shalhevet Pass, who was 10 months old when she was murdered by terrorists. This week, his 10 year old daughter Nachala was injured in a stone-throwing attack|