Monday, April 19, 2010

The Joy of Israel at our return home


"It is known from the Sages that our mother, Zion, cries and wails for us; we are her children, and she waits for us to return to her.

"‘With my own flesh I saw my Gd.’ In 1942, before Pesach, a horrifying decree was issued by the accursed wicked ones in in Slovakia, to kidnap Jewish girls from age 16 and up and bring them to a cruel land, an unknown place. Until today, the fate of thousands of pure Jewish souls who were brought there is unknown; Gd will avenge them quickly. There was then a great fear in the Jewish camp, and I know of one who wished to save his young daughters lest they fall into this wicked trap, and he tried to cross the border with his daughters. This was Chol haMoed Pesach, and he promised his wife that he would send a message by telegraph from across the border when he arrived, letting her know that he and his children had arrived safely at their destination. The mother sat in her house with her eyes failing with worry, anticipating at every moment the arrival of the happy news that they had crossed the border in peace and arrived in a safe place. But the father and his daughters were caught before they could cross the border, and they were brought to a city near the border and jailed all through chol hamoed and through the end of Pesach, and they were in great danger of being sent to a cruel land, in accord with their practice of punishing for flight. Anyone who fled and was caught was sent to a cruel land, in a manner which was yet more cruel than that used for others sent there. This became known to his wife, to the mother of the daughters, and we can only imagine the bitter emotion that overtook their mother and turned her joy at their flight into grief, and her Yom Tov was turned to mourning, Gd save us, for her husband and daughters. She sat and wept all through Yom Tov without halt, and the world actually turned dark for her; one cannot put into words her depressed state, when she learned what had happened to her husband and daughters. She knew what awaited them.

"But remember this man for the good: The great and righteous man, who served Gd with true self-sacrifice in the fullest sense of the world, who in this time endangered his life, the great and pious Rav Shmuel Dovid Unger, head of the Nitra community, who did not rest and was not silent until he had redeemed these three captives at a great price. They went free and could return home to their house without any obstacle, on the last day of Pesach. They let this woman of bitter spirit know immediately, by telephone, that her husband and daughters had emerged free, and would return home the next day, isru chag, in peace, and without obstacle.

"There is no need to tell the effect this great news had on the spirit of that bereft woman, knowing that her husband and daughters had emerged from between the lions’ teeth in peace. From that moment she waited with eyes failing with worry for the moment when the father and daughters would return to her home. The next day she did not have the strength to wait for them at home; she sat at the entrance to the yard, her eyes looking out for the moment they would come, and when they came and she saw them she burst out in a cry, pouring out all of the awesome emotion in her heart. She could not produce words of thanks to Gd for the magnitude of the miracle performed for her and for them, from the outpouring of feeling in her heart. One who did not witness the moment they actually met and saw each other again, mother with her daughters, after they returned from such a horrific captivity, and the mother’s weeping when she saw that her daughters had returned home, and the joy of the mother of children at that moment, never saw a feeling of joy.

"Therefore, since I know of that illumination which occurred in our days, so I imagine and describe the joy of our mother, the Land of Israel, when all of us will return to her after such a horrific captivity which we have experienced at this time, and the amazing joy which the mother will experience with her children, meaning Israel with us and us with her. Therefore I have named my book, “The joyous mother of children.”"

(R' Yissachar Techtel, Em haBanim Semeichah, Prologue)

Have a great day,

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