Thursday, June 2, 2011
Yom Kippur 1973. Israel was suddenly attacked, and in the devastating, dramatic battle with Egyptian forces, many lives were lost. Following the war the Rebbe sent letters of encouragement to the wounded and to the families of the departed.
The Avner Institute presents a letter to the Rebbe in which a young mother whose soldier husband perished asks: How can she explain this tragedy? What words of comfort can she give to her children, whose very beliefs might be shattered by the evil that took their father’s life?
The Rebbe Archive presents a photo of Ephraim Levy, former IDF Chief of Staff, receiving a dollar from the Rebbe after yechidus with an entourage headed by then Israeli President Zalman Shazar in 5734/1973.
To Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Shlita:
G-d was with us during this very difficult time, and we succeeded in standing strong against all of the nations. Nevertheless, every single victory needs commitment and sacrifice, and there is no greater sacrifice than giving up a life.
Because I remain a widow with no father for my children, it is hard for me to educate them and to bring them up in the best and proper way. It is hard for me to stand alone against such a large world with all the adversity out there. Because my children have a proud Jewish heritage, Rebbe, I have questions that I would like to ask.
I have one daughter who is seven years old, and one boy who is five. How do I explain that their father’s death came through self-sacrifice to G-d’s will?
My son is asking me, “Mother, when Moshiach comes the dead will return, and then Tatty will come back. So why doesn’t Moshiach come now?”
How do I answer these questions? In my eyes these questions, which are so fundamental, may have an effect on my children’s beliefs and thoughts.
It will be a tremendous honor for me if the Rebbe can answer.
THE REBBE’S REPLY:
In regards to the questions the children are asking which you are writing to me about:
Explain to them, the way it is in truth, that there are souls that are so pure and holy that G-d wants them to be in the heavens, after they have completed their mission in this world and guarded over all the sons of Israel who live in Eretz Yisroel.
In the heavens they intercede for all their relatives and loved ones, and especially for their children, and they ask from G-d that their children succeed in studies and conduct. When their children conduct themselves properly, that is the biggest pleasure that the soul can have – that it remains alive and existing."
Posted by The Avner Institute / Menachem M Kirschenbaum at 4:03 PM