It happened last night during Maariv.
Suddenly after a few days quiet in RBS, a siren went off. Everyone in the shul waited anxiously to see what was going to happen and in fact about fifteen seconds later, we heard the sound of a thunderclap and the entire building shook. Literally shook. It left everyone in the building feeling just a little shaken up. Okay, a lot shook up.
I got home from shul a few minutes later.
My five year old son was sitting on the coach feeling very upset.
“Why does Hashem let the Goyim send rockets at us,” he wanted to know.
Before I could even begin to reply, (maybe touching on the concept on doing teshuva etc…) he came up with another question.
“Why did Hashem even create Arabs in the first place?”
These were very good questions and I told him so.
“You think Hashem should have just filled up the entire world with Yidden?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“Everyone in the world has a reason for being here. And yes there are a lot more Goyim then Yidden. But you know how Mommy has a gold wedding ring with a diamond?”
“Gold and diamonds cost a lot more then glass. Why do you think that is?”
He wasn’t sure.
“Because there is a lot more glass in the world than gold and diamonds. A lot of glass, a little bit of gold. So the gold is really special and people are willing to pay a lot of money for it.
In our world,” I went on, “there are a lot of Goyim and not so many Yidden. The Yidden are the gold and diamonds of this world and we are special. That’s why there aren’t that many of us. But Hashem loves us and we should never forget it.”
“How do you know that Hashem loves us?”
“Because Yehuda Tzvi, the Arabs have shot over one thousands missiles all over the country and almost nobody has been hurt by them! That’s how I know that Hashem loves us.
Sometimes we hear that the Arabs try to shoot a missile at us and by mistake they hit their own homes. And they really hurt themselves and there are clouds of smoke over Gaza. But when they shoot those rockets at the Jewish people, so much of the time the rockets fly off in the wrong direction and don’t hurt us and other times we are able to knock them down with the Iron Dome.
It’s a miracle, plain and simple and it tells me that Hashem loves us and protects us.”
“But my heart is beating so quickly!”
I placed my hand on his heart and felt it beating rapidly.
I gave him a hug.
“I know sweet boy, I really do. But Hashem loves you. You can go to sleep now and you don’t have to be afraid.”
He fell asleep fifteen minutes later and I thought about all the kids across the country who have been traumatized by the war of the last few weeks and how the sirens they are hearing will effect them for life.
And how it’s part of growing up as a Jew.
And how we have to remember that Hashem loves us even in the darkest times.
And how the fiery explosions of the Iron Dome lighting up the night as they protect us are a sort of silver lining in the blackest of nights.
And how we really are special and deserving of a unique relationship with Him, because of what we do and how we choose to live our lives.