Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Day of Mourning in Israel

Today is a day of mourning in Israel, a day of funerals and sadness.
There are two main funerals today – the victims of the Toulouse, France, massacre, HY"D, and that of HaRav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, ztz'l.

HaRav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, ztz'l, a tzaddik, a gadol hador, respected, compassionate and beloved, revered Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Ohr Yeshiva, has passed away at the age of 101. Surely everyone has heard inspirational stories of HaRav Scheinberg, ztz'l, over the years. In fact, whoever read Ruchama Shain's book ALL FOR THE BOSS gets a very intimate view of HaRav Scheinberg's life (the Rav was married to Rebbetzin Shain's sister, o'h).
HaRav Scheinberg passed away at the age of 101 having accomplished a life of Torah and mitzvoth, as a guiding light to a generation of Jews. What a bracha!
The second funeral in Jerusalem was that of the rav and three children (two, his own) who were assassinated by an Arab in Toulouse, France.

Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, HY"D, 29 years old, his sons Aryeh HY"D,  6 years old and GavrielHY"D, 3 years old, and little Miriam MonsonegoHY"D, 8 years old at the Otzar HaTorah School were massacred in front of their Jewish day school. If you add all their ages together, the total of 46 doesn't even come to half that of HaRav Scheinberg. And yet their lives (or sadly, their deaths) have suddenly touched us all. Once again, we see a modern day example of "bechol dor va'dor omdim aleinu lechalotein" – in every generation they rise to destroy us (no matter what age, nor what nation we are in). They have united every Jew in sadness and sorrow, in brotherhood, reminding us all once again that we only have Hashem and one another.
HaRav Scheinberg lived a life of Kiddush Hashem (sanctifying G-d's name). Rabbi Sandler and the children were surely devoted and loving Jews, despite their young years. They gave their lives al Kiddush Hashem. 
Four very immense and different losses were remembered today. May Hashem comfort all of Am Yisrael among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. May we be wise enough to learn the lessons of Ahavat Achim (loving one's brother). We Jews worldwide must unite once and for all, not just in sorrow, but for life.

More about HaRav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg:
More about Rabbi Sandler and the children:

Photo of Toulouse victims from the Jewish Journal.

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