“Like A Malach” – The Post That Moved Thousands Of Israelis

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Moshe Natan Neta, z'l, 14, and Yehoshua, z'l, 9, Englard.

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Yakir Asaraf, a secular Israeli, who like many others was shocked by the immensity of the Meron tragedy, decided that he had to do something to share in the families’ pain, and he and a friend went to pay a shiva call to the Englard family of Jerusalem, who lost their two sons, Moshe Natan Neta, z’l, 14, and Yehoshua, z’l, 9.

He wrote a Facebook post about his experience, which quickly went viral and moved thousands of Israelis.

“It could be that I just experienced one of the most significant moments of my life,” Asaraf wrote. “I just left the shiva of the Englard family, who lost their two sons at Meron. And my heart is simply bursting with mixed emotions, my eyes are filled with sad tears, but my heart is full of simcha.”

“When my friend Maor and I, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, entered their home, we really stood out in the Chareidi crowd. Some people looked up and two wonderful Chareidim quickly got up and let us sit, mamash opposite Menachem Mendel, the father who lost his two sons just days ago.”

“The father noticed us and quickly stopped speaking in Yiddish with the other menachamim and turned to me and Maor in Hebrew.”

“‘I’m happy you came,’ he said, and his eyes are wet with tears but his face is radiant. “When are we already zochech to meet together – you and I?’ he said.

“Maor and I looked at him with sparkling eyes as if he’s a malach talking to us.

“‘You should know that what’s happening here is the truth,” he said. ‘You and I are both pained by the great loss. We’re giving chizzuk to each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re chilonim (secular) or Chareidim – we’re Jews.”

“Everyone else in the room – in eerie silence – is quietly listening to Menachem Mendel talk to us.

“‘I want you to invite me to your simchos!'” I say.

“‘And I’ll invite you to my simchos!'” he responds.

“A few minutes of silence and he looks down and mumbles; ‘Mi K’Amcha Yisrael.’

After the tefillah, we approach him and before we had a chance to say words of comfort, he says, ‘Thank you for coming. You were mechazeik me.'”

“Maor and I leave the house, looking at each other, but unable to speak. We can’t process what just happened, and while I’m writing these words, I still can’t process it.

“This meeting represents the truth of our Am, the endless Ahavas HaChinum we have for each other, our shared pain, the tremendous emunah that continues to unite us.”

“I’ll end with a tefillah l’Yoshevi Ba’Meromim – for Ahavas Chinam between us, and for besuros tovos, and for all the families of the victims to be zochech to true nachas, and that I’m zocheh to be invited to the smachos of the wonerful Menachem Mendel.”

Yakir Asaraf (Facebook profile)

[MERON VICTIMS: 24 Bochurim And Boys, 4 Mir Talmidim, At Least 6 US Citizens, 2 Canadians]

[HEARTBREAKING: List Of Niftarim R”L Killed In Meron Crush Released]

[OUTRAGE GROWING: Israel – Where Is Your Compassion To Parents Of Students Traumatized By Meron Disaster?]

[How Exactly Did The Terrible Disaster At Meron Occur?]

[Father’s Heartrending Hesped For His Son: “You’re Now In Rebbe Shimon’s Yeshiva”]

[WATCH: 10-Yr.-Old Meron Survivor: “I Cried Out Shema Yisrael”]

[“People Were Crushed To Death Before My Eyes” – Survivors Of The Harrowing Scenes Talk]

[Chareidi Reporter Warned Of This Very Tragedy In 2018!]

[State Comptroller Says He’s Launching Probe Of Meron Disaster]

[The Chilling Letter A Meron Victim Left Before His Death]

[Last Meron Victim Is Buried After His Parents Arrive From Argentina]

[HEARTBREAKING IMAGE: Child Of Meron Victim Makes Toy Representing His Father Z”L]

[11-Year-Old Seriously Injured At Meron Is Released From The Hospital]

[CHILLING: Look What Was Found Inside Siddur Of Victim Of Meron Tragedy]

[Journalist Published Eye-Witness Reports Which May Explain How The Trampling in Meron Began]

[Meron Victims: Elhadad Brothers, 12 & 18, Buried Next To Rashbi]

[One Of The Meron Victims Was MK Eichler’s Brother-In-Law]

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


12 COMMENTS

  1. “ Yakir Asaraf, a secular Israeli…..”, I’m sorry, but didn’t you just post an article claiming “total silence from secular Jews”?

  2. Nice story indeed. But who on earth turns up at a house of mourning in a T-shirt? Put a suit on! Even in third world societies they dress up for a wake or memorial ceremony.

  3. How many of us have said to ourselves or others, this unity we are now experiencing will be gone by next week. It will be if we say that. It is on each of us to do what we ourselves can and need to do to keep this unity going which will certainly hasten the coming of Mashiach.

  4. Its a nice story and I am sure many secular israelis share the same feelings but Yakir Asaraf is not secular. He is an artist whose most famous gallery is his outstretched hand wearing teffilin against various natural settings which began as an accident when he took a picture of his hand during his davening at a natural setting in Mongolia and realized how nice it looked. In fact, sepharadim in israel are rarely secular and are almost always traditional, religious or chareidi.

  5. The pintele Yid in every Yid.
    If our behavior and lifestyle, [low-divorce rate, zero-crime rate etc.] did not bother the conscious of the chilonim, then we would all be in a much better place. The police would not abuse their position to target Charedim while turnign a blind eye to other people etc.
    But, I can understand that we really make their blood boil. They would LOVE to have calm, happy crime-free neighborhoods. They would LOVE to have cohesive communities with endless gemachim etc.
    Any suggestions anyone?

  6. The kiruv levavos and warm feelings described here are surely providing an ilui neshama for those boys, as will any additional mitzvos those visitors may start doing as a result of the good feelings they had there.