November 24, 2012

One of the most inspiring possessions I own sits in my office at shul (synagogue). I received it in 2006 when I went with a group of my shul members to Israel to volunteer in the North in the wake of the second Lebanon war. On that mission, we toured Sderot and saw firsthand the damage and destruction left by kassam rockets and the metal pellets that were packed therein. Eli Moyal, then mayor of Sderot, described to us what it means to have 15 seconds to find cover when a warning siren is sounded. We asked him how the people of his city, and the South in Israel in general, have persevered. For years, the parents of Sderot have sent their children to school not knowing if their sons and daughters will come home. Every time they leave their houses, residents of Sderot must be cognizant of the closest bomb shelter in case a siren goes off. We asked Moyal, How have they found the strength and capacity to endure such a lifestyle?

I am humbly aware that I have no answers to the questions that we are all asking at this troubled time. Why are we being confronted with these tragic challenges? What does G-d want from us? What message is He sending? Are we being punished? If so, why? Is Moshiach, the Messiah, coming?
Photo Credit: The Times
I begin by stating that no one has answers to these questions. Yes, I know that many, greater than I, have been publicly proclaiming answers to these questions. They claim, I suppose, to have access to some Higher Source. I have no such access and doubt that anyone alive today possesses such knowledge. The powers of prophecy were taken away from us long ago.

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