In EmunahSpeak: A Burning Need we asked:
And who doesn’t want that there should be achdus amongst Yidden? But how many feel the need for it? How many of us are driven by such a burning need for achdus that we are willing step out of our comfort zone to make it happen? And how many of us are so tortured by this need that we would be willing to compromise on anything that didn’t contravene Halacha?
Apparently there was no show of hands of those whose burning need for achdus was such that they were willing to step out of their comfort zone to do something about it. Hashem therefore took matters in hand and caused it to happen that tens of thousands of Israelis were wrenched out of their comfort zones against their will, and into shelters, in response to the Red Alerts that abounded during the latest simulation of brotherly love emanating from Gaza.
The sirens are quiet now, and those tens of thousands of our brethren have long since left the shelters and crawled out from under the stairwells. And from all appearances it seems that they have held up rather well. And if it would have been a test they would have passed it with flags flying.
But it wasn’t. It was rather a crash course in sensitivity training.
The real test, as such, begins now.
Before the Six Day War, children living in the environs of the Hula Valley spent countless nights in the shelters due to the Syrian artillery and mortar barrages coming from the Golan Heights. Some of them never slept in their own beds.
While those days are long gone, their spirit lives on in the south of Israel which for years now has been the whipping boy of the vast majority of the missiles being launched from Gaza.
In EmunahSpeak: Goin’ Ostrich, we spoke of a piece that had appeared in Mishpacha Magazine about Netivot when the first kassim rockets fell within a kilometer of the town. The people quoted in that story made it very clear that they viewed the possibility of rockets, chas v’shalom, falling on Netivot as a tragedy of major proportions. That it was happening tog un nacht in Sderot which is only a few kilometers up the road was not even mentioned, and therein lays the real tragedy. One doesn’t have to look further than Parshas Vayeira to see what kind of midda this is.
And then we asked:
What future is there in a country where the concern of anyone as to what’s happening runs only to the extent that it’s happening to them?
Now that the besserer mentchen living in the coastal plain and in the environs of Yerushalyim have been recently sensitized to the world of bomb shelters there can be no excuses anymore. Are we going to feel the pain of the Jews in Sderot, Ofakim, Netivot Ashkelon, and Ashdod, to name but a few of the communities that may well find themselves still on the Hamas target line or will it be business as usual wherein, as we said above, anyone’s concern for what is happening runs only to the extent that it is happening to him?
That’s the test.
In EmunahSpeak: Nu? we said: the path to Moshiach, which is in no small measure the path of achdus, will only be trod by transforming the grief, emoted in the comfort zone of our chevra, from a proprietary emotion to one that encompasses the entire Klal without dulling that emotional edge.
If we make this our derech then the missiles from Gaza will hit nothing but a soft spot in our heart for a fellow Jew.
If not, then we had better take shelter.