Over These We Weep
על־אלה אני בוכיה עיני עיני ירדה מים
“For these things do I weep, my eyes flow with tears.” (Lamentations 1:16)
Along with all other Yeshiva University students and diaspora Jews, we of The Commentator are shocked and heartbroken by the unspeakable atrocities currently unfolding in Israel at the hands of Hamas terrorists.
As our joy from Simchat Torah was turned into mourning yesterday, our pain mirrors the words of the prophet Jeremiah.
We had hoped that the days when innocent Jewish men, women and children could be dragged, raped and beaten in the streets to the cheers of evil men would be left in the days of Nazi Germany or Czarist Russia; that the days when Jewish blood could be spilled like water were over.
“Over the catastrophe of my people, I am shattered; [my countenance] has darkened, shock has seized me.” (Jeremiah 8:21) We are crushed by the profundity and scope of this tragedy. Words fail in the attempt to describe the horror unfolding upon our people.
Like Yirmiyahu, we find ourselves mourning this week’s tragedies, the deadliest events to befall our people since the Holocaust. As he watched Jews be taken into captivity, so too we watch our brothers and sisters, young and old, taken by the enemy.
At this moment, we feel abandoned and a profound sense of loss, sitting here, like Iyov, wondering why we hope for light, only to receive darkness.
The Mishna in Sanhedrin teaches that one who kills a person is considered to have destroyed an entire world; this weekend, 800 worlds were destroyed by an evil paralleled only by the darkest days of human history. This number will likely only increase.
Over our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our parents and grandparents, we weep, our eyes flowing with tears watching the evil of those who relish in murder. “Their feet run after evil, they rush to shed the blood of the innocent; their thoughts are thoughts of wrongdoing, plunder and catastrophe are on their roads.” (Jeremiah 59:7)
The terrorists in Gaza show no pity or mercy to the elderly, no kindness to women and children; even their children taunt and strike Israeli children.
In the coming weeks, we must pray for those innocents currently in the hands of our enemies, and for our fellow students who have been called to war. We must pray for divine protection from those who seek to destroy us, whether in Gaza, Beirut or Tehran. We must pray for the success of Israel’s soldiers, our brothers and sisters, as they work to destroy Hamas and defend our people.
As God answered the prayers of Moshe and David as they were set upon by their enemies, and as He answered the prayers of Shimshon and Menashe when in enemy hands, may He answer the prayers of his children in captivity on their own land and protect them from those who seek to do them harm.
As Jews, we mourn the loss of our people and pray for the stability of our community. As Americans, we call on our elected officials and government to stand with our ally, Israel, in its war against those who seek to destroy it and slaughter its people.
Now is the time to mourn, bury our dead and destroy the terrorists who perpetrated these atrocities.
May God avenge the murder of the innocents. Hashem Yikom Damam.
Editor's Note: As of the original publishing online, the total number of people murdered by Hamas was 800. The number has since risen to over 1400.
Editor’s Note: For an article to be designated under the byline of “The Commentator Editorial Board,” a minimum of 75% of editorial board members, including the editors in chief, are required to give their assent.