2017-05-01 13.45.27

by Zeve Kornwasser (’18)

This past Monday, the entire yeshiva assembled to commemorate the lives of over 23,000 kedoshim who perished defending the State of Israel or in heinous acts of terror there. Throughout the assembly, the b’nei haYeshiva were shown a video detailing the uplifting story of Eliezer Rosenfeld. As the father of two individuals who died al kiddush Hashem, he conveyed a tremendous amount of yiras shamayim in terms of how he dealt with such a terrible tragedy. The video showed the father crying as he sang ve-afilu be-hastarah, the famous words of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov to his beloved son about recognizing the presence of Hashem in even the darkest times. Much like what we experience in our contemporary transition from Yom HaZikaron to Yom Ha’Atzmaut, the video showed the father go from his son’s sheloshim to a wedding, to be mesameiach Chassan ve-Kallah.

The main speaker at the event was Rabbi Mordechai Becher, a Rebbe at Yeshiva University’s JSS program and a senior lecturer at Gateways, who recounted specific stories of kedoshim who gave their lives al kedushas Hashem. Rav Becher spoke of the importance of the IDF and its soldiers, who day by day fulfill Chazal’s words, “Eyzehu Gibbor, HaKovesh es Yitzro”-“Who is strong? He who conquers his inclination.” For IDF soldiers, this means conquering the natural instinct of self preservation in order to serve their country.

The event was capped by an emotional singing of acheinu by our chorus, a kel malei led by Rabbi Blackstein, and a powerful mincha. May all of the neshamos of those who died defending our land serve as a zechus for us.

Yehi Zichram Baruch.


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