Teaneck, NJ – The 20th of Tishrei, the day of Gilad Shalit’s release from captivity, is a day of mixed emotions. Our hearts throb with joy for the Shalit family, and we wish them much nachas forever and ever. Yet, our hearts also bleed for the families who lost loved ones at the hands of the ruthless killers who are being released, whose wounds are reopened.
We also live in dread of the actions of these vicious murderers, who have no value whatever for human life. We will increase our alertness and reinforce our security to the maximum. We will also pray fervently for Hashem’s mercy and protection.
When the horrible Chmelniecky massacres occurred in 1648, Rabbi Yomtov Lipman Heller, author of Tosafos Yomtov, said that this was a punishment for the sin of conversing in the synagogue during prayers and the Torah reading. Although there were some Jews who did not observe the Sabbath or kashrus, Rabbi Heller did not implicate these grave sins as the reason for the massacre, but rather the insult and affront to Hashem of conversing during prayers.
Unfortunately, this grave sin is still too often violated. We need every bit of Divine protection we can get. Is it too great a sacrifice to refrain from conversing in the synagogue, knowing that by committing this sin we are removing Divine protection and jeopardizing the lives of Jews everywhere, but especially in the Holy Land?
Please! Keep this in mind when you attend services. The protective shield for yourself, your loved ones and your fellow Jews is in your hands.
Dr. Twerski, is a noted ordained rabbi, and the author of more than 60 books.