The White Shul's Shliach

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  • #613141
    YW Moderator-42

    This was from R’ Shay Schechter who is

    the Assistant Rabbi at the White Shul

    I honesty do not know where to start.

    Driving to the airport on Wednesday

    afternoon, I was filled with sadness and

    incredibly broken spirits. I have

    never been so sad to be visiting Eretz

    Yisrael in my life.

    I was feeling uncomfortable on so many

    different levels; will my presence

    be of any significance or meaning to

    these most beloved families? Will they

    just look at me as yet another

    representative, from just another

    passing through their grieving

    home? Will I even have a chance to

    explain where I come from, that I have

    come to mourn with them, and convey

    some of our collective thoughts and

    feelings of their brothers and sisters in


    our heart to the Shaer, Frenkel and

    Yifrach families respectively; so the

    answer had to be to go, and to make the

    very best of this most unfortunate


    Getting stuck on the JFK runway for close

    to two hours, I said to myself;

    this special trip is starting off drastically

    differently than I had

    expected. I was meant to land at 12 PM in

    Tel Aviv, go directly from the

    airport to meet up with Rabbi Weinreb

    from the OU, and visit the families;

    and this plane delay would now throw off

    the entire Israel arrangement.

    But boy was I mistaken. This was a trip

    that will be etched in my mind for

    all posterity. It was the most inspiring and

    uplifting trip I could have

    ever made, and I simply have to share my

    feelings with the tzibbur, who

    felt the grave importance of sending a

    shul representative.

    In the middle of our flight, the stewardess

    began to speak with me, and we

    got into a very pleasant conversation.

    She then inquired when I was

    planning to return back to the States, and

    I said I would only be staying

    until until after Shabbos, and I would then

    be returning home. She said

    And I proceeded to tell her

    that I was sent by our shul to visit the

    three respective families, to

    deliver our beautiful letters, and to let

    them know that the affection of

    their beloved brothers and sisters in

    America, knows no bounds.

    She immediately began to cry

    uncontrollably, and said, this kehillah of

    yours is something unique and something

    incredibly special. For you to get

    on the flight is no big deal; but this

    speaks volumes about your kehillah,

    that this is what they feel is important.

    This is where their hearts are,

    and this is what is occupying their minds

    So the stewardess proceeds to make an

    announcement in tears, to a plane

    filled almost to capacity with Birthright

    plane, a shliach Mitzvah! Come meet a

    Rabbi who was sent by his Kehillah to

    perform the great mitzvah of nichum

    aveilim, for those whom they feel are

    their own brothers and sisters! Our plane

    is safe because we have a

    This led to a whole pandemonium, and

    after I finally got to sit down again,

    the young man next to me informs me

    that he is 26 years old, from Seattle

    Washington; he works in a national zoo,

    and is going to Israel for his

    first time. He then proceeds to tell me

    that he was so inspired by our

    kehillah, and that he would like to borrow

    my Tallis to do a mitzvah that

    he has not done since his Bar mitzvah

    celebration (at age 16) in memory of

    the three precious neshamos.

    I gladly gave him my tallis and then

    proceeded to ask him if he knew how to

    went on to take out a small piece

    of paper from his pocket, and recited the

    one and only Hebrew Bracha that he was

    familiar with, so he decided to

    recite it as well on the Tallis.

    He then asked to borrow my Tefillin as

    well, which was followed by a long

    conversation with the other members of

    the plane, who were all taking

    pictures of this highly unusual scene.

    for these three precious souls,

    even after I return home. So what would

    I was in complete shock, and

    overwhelmed with emotion, so the


    Chassid in the next row turns to this

    tattood and pierced young man and

    will try and wear these Tefillin

    each and every day, I promise I will have

    a pair sent by FedEx to your home

    in Seattle Washington by the time you

    They then

    exchanged phone numbers and

    information, and the deal was done.

    Now I ask you, is Klal Yisrael anything

    short of amazing and absolutely

    incredible? Look what our Kehillah alone

    has already accomplished! I almost

    felt like taking the next flight home, and

    calling this trip the greatest

    success I could have ever imagined!

    YW Moderator-42

    imagined! But things only continued to


    more and more meaningful as the day

    went on.

    I landed in Eretz Yisrael over two hours

    late, and had already missed two

    out of the three homes that the OU was

    planning to visit.

    So I met them on the way to the Shaer

    home which is located in Talmon, a

    neighborhood of 280 families, which is

    surrounded on all sides by Arab

    Villages. We arrived there at 3:30, and

    were told by the Policemen, that

    the family was resting until 5:30. So the

    OU van decided to leave, but I

    chose to stay and wait it out.

    So there I was, alone, in a far flung Yishuv

    that I have never heard of,

    drenched with sweat, with not a living

    person in sight, in any direction.

    I begin to walk around looking for a Beis

    Midrash, and after about a

    minute, a woman walks out of the Shaer

    residence, and I sheepishly asked

    States, but I live in Talmon for over 20

    years. How can I help you?”

    anything, as I had a last minute flight,

    and they would not provide me with

    food on the plane, and I am feeling very

    into her home, quickly served me a

    beautiful platter of fresh fruit; gave

    me a tour of the local shul and mikvah,

    acquainted me to the local shomrim

    and Chayallim, and proceeded to

    introduce me to many of the local


    the other, families began to break

    down crying, as they heard that a guest

    had arrived from America to share

    in their pain.

    But I watched as these incredible

    families, walked up and down the streets

    with bottles of water, delicious cake

    platters, freshly diced fruit, tuna

    and egg sandwiches, and everything else

    you can possibly imagine; offering

    the crowd that was beginning to form

    outside of the Shaer residence. Their

    outpouring of love was quite

    overwhelming to watch, and it is


    that is so hard for me to properly express

    in words.

    Signs were posted by a table at the

    entrance to the door, asking all

    visitors to write down what services they

    might be able to offer the family

    in the coming months, and when they

    would be available to render them. A

    plumber wrote that he has off on

    them should they ever need. A therapist

    wrote that any day after hours they

    could feel free to use her services. A

    young teenage girl from Beit Shemesh

    wrote that she has the summer off, and

    would be happy to entertain anyone

    in the Yishuv who was busy caring for the

    the list went on and on and on.

    Politicians began to gather and many

    people could be seen waiting for the

    school friends of Gilad began to

    recount stories of his youthful

    personality, but after just a few minutes,

    Mr. and Mrs. Shaer asked that people

    please make way for the Kehillah who

    has sent someone all the way from

    him; his visit means the most to us right

    now; though we may be closer to

    many of you sitting in the room.” I then

    received the most warm, gracious,

    gentle, and highly emotional embrace

    from Mr. Shaer, who was completely


    The room grew silent and we began to

    speak with one another; I then

    proceeded to present the letters from our

    shul, which threw the room into a

    complete hysteria, and Mrs. Bat Galim

    Shaer began to speak with me about

    her feelings of love for our Kehillah.

    Although there were numerous signs

    posted, that no pictures be taken at the

    shiva house, Bat Galim encouraged her

    friends and relatives, to take

    pictures and share them with both her

    family and our Kehillah, so they

    would remember, and that we would be

    able to see how much this special

    visit meant to them.

    Surprisingly, she then proceeded to

    personally address our wonderful shul

    on video as well, and asked her friends to

    share her personal message with

    our shul via email before Shabbos; so we

    could all appreciate the Shaer

    and incredible sense of strength

    that they felt by our gesture.

    I then traveled to Nof Ayalon to visit the

    Frankel family. I got to speak

    very personally with both Mr. and Mrs.

    Frankel, and they too were

    overwhelmed with our sense of

    connection and achrayus to Am Yisrael

    and its

    terrible tragedies.

    only you who feel it for us, you

    feel a connection to your shul. The

    Torah that you teach in The White Shul, I

    and listen to the shiurim on YUTorah, and

    is, that one of my personal Rabeim has

    come from abroad to share this

    difficult time with me.”

    Mrs. Frenkel then told me that when

    Ambassador Dan Shapiro, came to speak

    with her last week about the continued

    mission to rescue her son, he said,

    us.” To which she res

    YW Moderator-42


    American or Israeli. If all three are

    not being equally emphasized, then I

    want none of them back. Klal Yisrael

    Being more familiar with America and the

    spent time reading the package of letters

    that were presented, and found

    many of them to be incredibly


    Elad. A complete mob scene, I

    was brought directly to meet with Mr.

    Yifrach who stood up in the overly

    crowded tent, and tightly hugged, kissed

    and cried on my shoulder. He asked

    that our Shul consider joining their family

    when they make their next

    Simcha, so we not only connect with this

    special family under these

    circumstances, and that we always

    remember that life is usually, supposed

    to be filled with, and revolve around

    I was then brought to meet with Mrs.

    Yifrach who was inside the house, and

    she asked that I share her personal wish

    with our shul. On Erev Shabbos, at

    19:00 p.m. Israel Time, there will be close

    to one million Jews around the

    world, participating in a ??? ?? ???.

    Throughout Eretz Yisrael and various

    communities, people will be setting aside

    sums of money for tzeddakah, in

    the memory of the three precious

    kedoshim, the three pure and untainted

    souls. She begged that our Shul sincerely

    commit to join this meaningful

    campaign, and asked that when setting

    aside these monies we recite ?????

    ???? ?????? ?? ??????.

    She begged, that her beloved brothers

    and sisters join with her as well

    going forward, to make this worldwide

    campaign of chessed, a most

    successful and life changing one, in

    memory of Naftali, Eyal and Gilad.

    What more is possibly left to say other

    than ?? ???? ????? on so many

    incredibly beautiful levels? ?? ???? ?????,

    who feel such a strong bond and

    connection with one another. ?? ????

    ????? who stay committed and so

    incredibly strong at times of utter and

    complete devastation. ?? ???? ?????

    who are willing to bat for one another at

    any cost, and are so

    overwhelmingly kind to those whom they

    have never, and perhaps will never

    meet! ?? ???? ????? who have families

    most beloved Father in heaven

    who is so deeply rooted in their

    respective hearts, minds and souls. ??

    ???? ????? who will pledge to join

    together to make our world a more

    meaningful and wholesome place to be.

    I say a personal thank you to the most

    incredible Kehillah that I feel

    blessed to be a part of, for your

    abounding love and care for every single

    last member of Klal Yisrael. Our Rabbi,

    Rabbi Eytan Feiner has taught us

    all in so many different ways, to

    appreciate and value the contributions of

    each and every member of our own

    tzibbur and of Klal Yisrael in general.

    This gesture was yet another incredible

    display of how successful our Rav

    from the most sensitive, most

    loving, most caring, and most

    compassionate Kehillah.

    May Klal Yisrael know no more suffering,

    and may the coming weeks and

    months only bring ?????? ?????, ??????

    ??????, ????? ???? ??? ????? ??????

    ??? ????.

    , ?????? ???? ??????? ???

    Rabbi Shay Schachter”


    Wow! This is amazing! Thanks 42 for posting!


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