When Rav Yitzchak Dovid Grossman speaks, Yidden generally listen, for this tzaddik has a powerful ability to convey a message that emanates from the depth of his holy being.
Today, Tuesday, 1 Sivan 5772, shortly after the censor permitted announcing the names of the Atias family Z”L killed in the tragic accident, Rav Grossman took to the airwaves and told the story behind the tragedy.
It appears that the father of Rabbi Rafael Atias, Rabbi Shimon Atias, is a longtime resident of Migdal HaEmek and prominent mechanech, in the very same city where Rav Grossman is mora d’asra. The rav and Rav Shimon have been very close over the years and Rav Grossman explains that in his free time, “every spare moment”, Rav Shimon would work on writing his Sefer Torah towards fulfilling his dream of opening a shul. He actually completed the project, as well as his fundraising and saving all the money he could over the years towards actualizing this dream, and on Monday, 29 Iyar 5772 this dream was actualized with the opening of the new Mishkan Shimon Shul in Migdal HaEmek.
Rav Grossman took part in the “outstanding simcha” along with the family, Rav Rafael Atias, his rebitzen, and all the children z”l, but that is not all. Rav Grossman explains he saw them there early in the morning, working, cleaning, moving seforim to the designated spot and so forth. They put the final touch on the beis knesses.
“They were simply busy for hours, working a labor of love. They did not stop for a moment” explained Rav Grossman. Then came the dedication, the music and the guests, and Rav Grossman explained the event was truly a simcha for the entire community.
After the Atias family left they traveled to the tziyun of the She’lah HaKadosh, and the rest of the story made the news R”L.
Rabbi Grossman added “I am not a navi and dare not attempt to understand HKBH’s cheshbonos, but I know that this family was a kapora for Am Yisrael and we mustn’t say ‘oh another tragic accident, another tragedy’ but we must contemplate the magnitude of the event, the loss, the pain, and each of us must find ways to enhance our avodas Hashem and our actions”.
The rav detailed the acts of chessed of the niftar, Rav Rafael, who was a pillar of his community, Moshav Bar-Yochai, and deeply involved in assisting area tzedaka efforts. He was also the principal of a yeshiva in Tzfat “for children that are not easy to handle” Rav Grossman explained.
Rachel spent a good part of her day with her father, unwilling to distance herself from him during the shul dedication. When she began returning to herself earlier Wednesday morning in the hospital, Rachel told people around her “Ima and we were saying Tehillim in the car before it turned over”. Little Rachel was not wearing her seatbelt, and this apparently saved her life as she was thrown clear of the inferno.
The levayas of the Atias family will take place at 19:00 in Tzfat.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)