Not such Good News this Friday

I was all prepared to post my (almost) regular Good News Friday post today. And then disaster struck yesterday.  Israel has been experiencing extremely unseasonable massive rainfall and thunderstorms this week, with lots of flooding all over the country, particularly in the flood-prone south.

A school hike in the Negev Desert went disastrously wrong when flash floods hit the Nachal Tzafit, the wadi where the group was hiking, and 10 teenagers were swept to their death. Several others were injured while the remaining kids were rescued.

The stories emerging out of this tragedy, the horrifying reports from the survivors, the despair of the families of the victims and the accusations at the hike’s organizers, are almost too much to bear.

The country is in shock and Israelis, whether they know or are related to the families or not, are devastated.

For this reason I simply cannot bring myself to post my usual jolly news. It will wait until early next week bli neder.

But I want to bring some items to comfort us before Shabbat, and I find the following songs hit just the right note for me.

The song below was written in memory of other teenagers who were killed, the 8 students who were murdered by terrorists in Mercaz Harav yeshiva in 2008.

The words are taken from Shir Hashirim (the Song of Songs):

הִשְׁבַּעְתִּי הִשְׁבַּעְתִּי אֶתְכֶם
הִשְׁבַּעְתִּי אֶתְכֶם בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָםִ, אִם תִּמְצְאוּ אֶת דּוֹדִי
מַה תַּגִּידוּ לוֹ
שֶׁחוֹלַת אַהֲבָה אָנִי

Translation:

I made you swear, Daughters of Jerusalem
If you find my beloved
What will you tell him?
That I am sick with love.

The following song was also produced in memory of the victims of the Mercaz Harav massacre. The words were written by Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel.

בן אדם
עלה, למעלה עלה
עלה למעלה, עלה בן אדם
עלה, למעלה עלה

בן אדם
עלה, למעלה עלה
עלה למעלה, עלה בן אדם
עלה, למעלה עלה

כִּי כֹּחַ עַז לָךְ
יֵשׁ לָךְ כְּנָפִי רוּחַ
יֵשׁ לָךְ כְּנָפִי רוּחַ
כְּנָפִי נְשָׁרִים אַבִּירִים

אל תכחש בָּם
פֶּן יכחשו לְךָ
דּרושׁ אוֹתָם
דרוש בן אדם
ויימצאו לך מיד

Translation:

Oh son of man,
Go up, go up son of man,
Go up, Go up

For you have great strength
You have wings of spirit
You have wings of spirit
Wings of noble eagles

Do not deny them
Lest they deny you
Seek them
Seek, son of man
And they will find you immediately.

I wish the families of the victims of the flood that they know no more sorrow. May the memory of their children be for a blessing. Refuah shlema to the injured hikers too and may all the survivors have a complete healing, whether physical or spiritual.

May the Shabbat comfort all of Am Yisrael and may the coming week bring us only good news.

I wish you all Shabbat Shalom.

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4 Responses to Not such Good News this Friday

  1. cba says:

    Thank you for this small morsel of consolation on a day of devastating sorrow.

  2. I can’t bring myself to “like” this post because of its sorrowful nature. It would just be wrong. Such a heavy heart across Klal Yisrael.

  3. Pingback: Not such Good News this Friday – 24/6 Magazine

  4. Reality says:

    You wrote so beautifully on this terrible week.May G-d bring comfort to all the families of the tragically killed teenagers.May all of Israel know only joy and no more sorrow
    Shabbat Shalom

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