This week was one of those weeks for my wife and I. One day in Bnei Brak. One day in Haifa. One day in Yerushaliyim. Unfortunately, I was not able to sit and write something for this week.
However, my wife received this. Credit goes to https://jewishmom.com/2024/01/24/my-sons-sweetest-kaddish-by-hagai-luber-father-of-yehonatan-hyd/.
The soldier who was killed, Yehonatan, left an expecting wife and a 13-year-old sister-in-law in my daughter's class. His father wrote this small piece, which gives you an idea on two things. One, how far away people are from Judaism, even here in Eretz Yisroel. And two, how close people are together at this time.
I wish you all a quiet Shabbos.
[Hagai Luber is a father of 9 from Beit El, and founder of the religious theater company Aspaklaria. On December 25th his 24-year-old son Yehonatan was killed while fighting in Gaza].
A week ago I met with Brothers in Arms [a left-wing protest-movement for secular IDF reservists] out of a common concern for Jewish and Israeli unity.
It was a meaningful encounter. We listened to one another, and even came to some tentative understandings on various issues. But no, that’s not the story I want to share.
After two hours I told them I had to go.
Why they asked. I told them I needed to pray and say Kaddish for Yehonatan.
What’s the problem? said the brothers, say it here!
What do you need to say Kaddish? they wanted to know.
Ten people… Men.
They immediately did mass recruitment in their offices, more than ten men showed up.
What do we do now? they asked.
You’ll need to cover your heads.
So they stood and covered their heads with sweatshirt hoods, handkerchiefs, and position papers. Look, I told them, we’ll need your cooperation. You’ll need to answer Amen.
For sure! They said, When do we say Amen?
It’s hard to explain… I told them. You know what? Every time I raise my hand say Amen. Cool?
And so I stood, a religious settler, extreme right-wing in the heart of “them” and prayed with them.
I said Kaddishes and the Amida and I raised my hand in the right places and they, more obedient than they’ve ever been before, roared out Amen like Breslovers in Uman every time I raised my hand.
I finished the prayer and told them: I think that for Yehonatan up there, that was his sweetest Kaddish ever.