April 23, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 23, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

A 12th Grader’s Reaction to the Meron Tragedy

I am a senior who is about to graduate TABC in the next month and sadly, my beloved high school days are coming to a close. In mid-August, I will be embarking upon my next life chapter in Israel in yeshiva. Since I was a child, one of my many dreams was to spend a year in Israel, and hopefully, more than that.

As a regular reader of the news (and the weekly TABC Israel Report), I consider myself pretty up to date on what’s going on in Israel. With my year in Israel rapidly approaching, I was looking at the Meron livestream (before hearing about the horrific events) and was thinking about the possibility that I might be there next year and celebrating with thousands of Jews in unison.

While watching the livestream, I even saw three of my friends and TABC alums a year or two older than I am dancing together, and I texted them to let them know that I saw them and to ask how it was. An hour or two later and before I knew anything about the tragedy, I received a text back from my friends who let me know about what had happened and that they were OK.

I then looked online to learn more and saw the horrific news about the tragedy occurring in Meron. My immediate thoughts and worries were about all my close friends who are learning in different yeshivot throughout Israel. I hoped and prayed that they were all safe as no one knew anything then.

A few hours later, I heard the news that a yeshiva student in Shaalvim was missing from Teaneck. I never knew Donny Morris, z”l, personally, but my first cousin who is learning in Israel was very close with him. Almost immediately, my phone flooded with chats for tehillim for his safety and with people davening with all their hearts for this precious Jew.

I woke up the next morning hearing the terrible news that he passed away. Throughout the rest of the day I was in total shock about how that could have been me had it been, a year later. This tragedy really took its toll on me even though I never connected with Donny face-to-face. It was hard for me to accept that this happened in a time where Jews come together for one of the biggest simchas of the year, to sing and dance as Jews.

The bottom line for me is that we need to be there for each other in times of distress and tragedy—like today. I hope a tragedy like this does not occur again, but if it does, God forbid, I hope and pray that the Jewish nation continues to respond like this and unite as best we can … and come together as one.


Noam Kinderlehrer is a 12th-grade student at TABC and a lifelong resident of Teaneck. He will be learning in Yeshivat Reishit Yerushalayim in the coming academic year.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles