The Aftermath

When a terrorist attack occurs, and the media attention fades, the true grief and long-term implication of worlds destroyed become evident.  The media have moved on, but only now are stories starting to emerge about what truely happened at Mercaz Harav on Rosh Chodesh Adar.

Jewgle would like to share two stories with you that show the real impact of this horror, and the relisilence of the Jewish people. 

The first is from an article by Hillel Fendel of Arutz Sheva.  He writes about the following instance, relayed by a staffer of the Nefesh B Nefesh program: 

“Every morning I take the 35 bus line to work. It’s a quick ride and usually takes no more than 12 minutes. The third stop after I get on by the shuk [Machaneh Yehuda outdoor market] is directly in front of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav. This morning, I found myself a bit anxious, unsure of what I was going to see as we passed by. As I looked around, I saw death notices pasted all over the street, and flowers that had been brought lined the entrance to the Yeshiva. When the bus pulled up to the stop, the driver shut off the engine and stood. With tears in his eyes, he told everyone on the bus that one of the boys killed on Thursday night was his nephew. He asked if we would mind if he spoke for a few minutes in memory of his nephew and the other boys who were killed. After seeing head nods all over the bus he began to speak. “With a clear and proud voice, he spoke beautifully about his nephew and said that he was a person who was constantly on the lookout for how to help out anyone in need. He was always searching for a way to make things better. He loved learning, and had a passion for working out the intricacies of the Gemara. He was excited to join the army in a few years, and wanted to eventually work in informal education. “As he continued to speak, I noticed that the elderly woman sitting next to me was crying. I looked into my bag, reached for a tissue and passed it to her. She looked at me and told me that she too had lost someone she knew in the attack. Her neighbors’ child was another one of the boys killed. As she held my hand tightly, she stood up and asked if she too could say a few words in memory of her neighbor. She spoke of a young man filled with a zest for life. Every Friday he would visit her with a few flowers for Shabbat and a short dvar torah [Torah thought] that he had learned that week in Yeshiva. This past Shabbat, she had no flowers…  

The second article is by Rav Lazar Brody about Doron Maharita, one of the attack victims:   Last night, I paid a shiva (condolence) call to Doron’s family. Every single type of Jew was sitting together, from Ethiopians to Polish Chassidim, from knit kippot to Yerushalmi white kippot, from jeans and sandals to long black frocks. Too bad that it takes a martyr of Doron’s magnitude to unite everyone. One of the rabbis from Mercaz HaRav told me the most amazing story you’ll ever hear about Doron’s dedication to learning Torah, a story that competes with the  Talmud’s  account of Hillel’s near freezing on the roof of Shmaya and Avtalion’s Yeshiva (see tractate Yoma, 35b) .  Doron wanted to learn Torah in Mercaz HaRav, one of the best of Israel‘s yeshivas. But, since his early schooling was in Ethiopia, he lacked a strong background in  Talmud.  The Yeshiva rejected him. He wasn’t discouraged. He asked, “If you won’t let me learn Torah, will you let me wash the dishes in the mess hall?” For a year and a half, Doron washed dishes. But, he spent every spare minute in the study hall. He inquired what the yeshiva boys were learning, and spent most of the nights and all of his Shabbatot with his head in the Gemara learning what they learned. One day, the “dish washer” asked the Rosh Yeshiva to test him. The Rosh Yeshiva politely smiled and tried to gently dismiss Doron, but Doron wouldn’t budge. He forced the Rosh Yeshiva into a Torah discussion; the next day, he was no longer a dish washer but a full-fledged “yeshiva  student”.  

On weekends, when Doron would come home to visit his family in Ashdod, he’d spend the entire Shabbat either in the Melitzer Shul or the neighboring Gerrer shtiebel learning Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law)  and its commentaries. Three weeks ago, he finished the entire Shulchan Aruch and principle commentaries. Doron achieved in his tender 26 years what others don’t attain in 88 years. He truly was an unblemished sacrifice, who gave his life for all of us.