15 Kislev 5781 / Tuesday, December 01, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayishlach
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Missile Attack on Ashkelon    

Missile Attack on Ashkelon

Once again, the south of Israel is under a massive missile attack which has already taken the life of one Israeli and caused tens of injured people....


The editorial page of Breslev Israel's English website

After a six-month lull in hostilities, once again the south of Israel is under a siege of rocket attacks from Hamastan in Gaza. The current lame-duck Israeli government is behaving like an ostrich with its head in the ground, releasing inane statements to the press about their desire to maintain “peace” and the “cease-fire.” Such reactions would be a mere joke were it not for the human element involved. The most tragic characteristic of anti-emuna self-serving politicians is their total lack of regard for the human element. That’s quite understandable – when you’re so busy looking out for yourself, you have no time to look out for others.
A person that feels he has no one to turn to succumbs to feelings of anger and frustration. The residents of Ashkelon are no different.
Breslev Israel and Breslev.co.il are dedicated to helping our fellow human, especially in the area of spiritual reinforcement, guidance, and encouragement. For us, a rocket attack is real – we see, hear, and feel the consequences. The following letter tells a common story that you won’t see on Fox News, CNN, or in the Israeli media either:
Dear Rabbi Brody,
I live in Ashkelon, what used to be a quiet town in the south of Israel. Up until two weeks ago, terrorism wasn't a daily issue in our lives, and as long as my wife and I would keep our seven-year-old away from the evening news, he was just as happy and cheerful as any child could be.
Just two weeks ago, everything changed. A Kassam rocket fired from Gaza fell on our street just as my son was coming home from school on Friday afternoon. Thank goodness he wasn't hit, but the repulsion of the blast knocked him off his feet. We took him to Barzelai hospital in Ashkelon for post-shock checkup and treatment, and after a day he was released home.
Since the trauma, he refuses frantically to go to school. My wife has missed two weeks of work staying home with him. She's become a ball of loose nerve ends, because our son won't eat, and has lost considerable weight. He won't sleep alone in his bedroom, and comes into ours. We don't have the heart to put him back in his own room, but naturally, a husband and wife can't go on forever like this. We've been twice to a child psychologist, but our son doesn't react. My wife and I are at our wits end – this is our only child. By a stroke of luck, I heard about you yesterday from a religious friend at work. I appeal to you, give me some urgent advice what to do. Thank you, A.T., Southern Israel
Dear A.T.,
There's no such thing as "a stroke of luck". The people of Israel are above luck and under G-d's constant care. The Kassam rocket is The Almighty's way of grabbing your attention. First, I'll give you a few suggestions about what to do for your son. Then, we'll talk about you.
1. Under no circumstance should a child sleep the night in a parent's bed. Add an additional bed to your son's room, and go to sleep with him. Talk to him and tell him beautiful stories. Buy a book of Torah stories, and tell him how Hashem has always saved us from our enemies. After he falls asleep (and he will, because anything out of the Torah will relax his frightened soul, a fact that your child psychologist has overlooked or does not know), move back to your own bedroom. After a week or two, your son will be back to sleeping solo.
2. It's a shame that your seven year-old is an only child. I'm sure you understand my intention.
3. Wean him back to school. For a few days, have your wife take him in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon. Gradually, you'll be able to phase that out and in two weeks, G-d willing, she'll be back to work.
4. Feed your son his favorite foods, but no junk food. Take him to the supermarket, let him pick out the food he likes, and then let him share in the preparation. Turn his meals into a fun experience of family togetherness, and his appetite will be back in no time. Feed him kosher food only.
5. Don't spend his waking hours in front of the TV. Go for walks and hikes, and build his confidence.
6. If you really love your son, and are truly concerned about his emotional welfare, you have to include Hashem in your lives. The more you turn to Hashem, the more your son will forget the trauma and overcome fear. Only by learning faith and trust in G-d, does one gain genuine tranquility of mind and soul. That's the only way that the settlers of Gaza and Hevron maintain their spiritual and emotional health under constant threats of terror. The Garden of Emuna will help you understand what’s happening in your life.
A.T., in my humble opinion, The Almighty went to extremes in order to awaken you and your wife from your spiritual slumber. The Kassam missile was a blessing in disguise, otherwise you may have spent the rest of your life chasing material amenities and watching the soccer games on TV. What about your soul? Why rob your son of his rightful heritage? In public school, he'll grow up a spiritual ignoramus.
Listen, I know it's difficult, but if you want my guarantee that your son will be 100% OK (will the child psychologist also give you a guarantee, or just continue taking your hard-earned money?), you need to begin doing three things: First, eat kosher food only. Second, no driving the car or turning on the TV on Shabbat. Third, take your son to the local synagogue of your choice on Friday night, then come home to a festive family meal. If you begin learning about Judaism, and teaching your son, you have my word - and a blessing from Rabbi Shalom Arush - that with G-d's help, he'll be fine. Talk to Hashem in your own words. Kashrut, Shabbat, and prayer are three powerful weapons, much stronger than any government retaliation to a Kassam rocket from some terrorist stable in Gaza. Keep me posted on your son's progress. All my best wishes for your family's success, Lazer Brody

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