Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today we'll make Purim, Tomorrow Tisha B'Av

I don't often manage to blog twice in one day, but I'm listening to the initial reports of the terrible incident that just happened at Merkaz HaRav and I felt that I should write - it's my therapy.

Firstly our Tfillot and thoughts are with the dead and wounded, and their families.
This is certainly not the appropriate way to mark the beginning of Adar.

For some reason, Purim time has often been a time of tragedy. Rav Moshe died around Purim, Baruch Goldstein committed his terrible Chillul HaShem on Purim, and there have been many terror attacks on or around Purim.

I remember the first Purim that Debbie and I were married. It was the very beginning of the Oslo process when Rabin was still giving guns to Arafat and he was responding by sending Palestinians to blow up buses. I remember that first Adar well, there had been several bus bombings, the number 18 in Jerusalem, a Dan bus in Tel Aviv and others. One of the worst happened a few minutes before Purim, I remember leaving the house in fancy dress with my megilla and hearing the news from my neighbour - no one felt in a mood to celebrate that Purim.

The story is told that the Ger Chassidim asked their Rebbe the Pnei Menachem how we could celebrate Purim at such a difficult time, he instructed them that there was a Mitzva to be happy on Purim, so today we'll make Purim - however tomorrow we'll make Tisha B'av.
The following day (after Shushan Purim), the Rebbe was called to the Beit Midrash shel Mala, and thousands of Chassdim made Tisha B'Av. People say that he died of a broken heart, after seeing so many holy Jews murdered in cold blood.

May HaShem protect us all from further trouble and sorrow, and may this Purim turn Avel to Simcha for the Students of Merkaz HaRav, the residents of Sderot, and all Klal Yisrael

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