Month: July 2012
We go to print with news of the petirah of Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, zt’l. Although time does not permit an elaborate essay or even the composition of a properly ordered piece, I wanted to share thoughts that came to mind.
The first thought is the timing of his passing, less than 24 hours after the Israeli coalition government dissolved, an event that effectively delays the attempts by ardent secularists to implement enforced conscription of yeshivah students.
The fact is that Torah is the greatest shemirah (protection). More dangerous than Iran with the bomb is a situation of Jews without Torah, c’v. As the Gadol Hador, HaRav Elyashiv not only taught and exemplified Torah values, but was a fountainhead through which Torah flowed down into the world, and which ultimately protected the generation from all sorts of physical and spiritual dangers.
Who knows if during his last days, as his body lay in a debilitated state, his holy neshamah was not rampaging through the heavens to get the decree of forced conscription torn up, and that only after he succeeded was he recalled by the Heavenly Court? Who knows…? It would certainly be a fitting final act for a man who literally dedicated every moment of his life to Torah.
On July 4, 1976, as dazzling multi-colored fireworks burst high in the sky across the United States, Americans celebrated the 200th anniversary of their country’s freedom. Little did anyone in the land of the free and home of the brave — or anywhere else for that matter — realize that about 7,000 miles away a group of Jews were secretly celebrating their newly-won freedom. For shortly after the stroke of midnight, on that fateful morning 36 years ago, 102 Jewish hostages were being rushed into C-130 Hercules military planes by Israeli commandos who had just pulled off arguably the most stunning rescue mission in history.
It’s all in this month’s cover story. The tension. The drama. The shock. The outrage. The ecstasy. And the agony (four hostages and one commando were killed).