April 22, 2024
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April 22, 2024
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The Beauty of Jewish Unity

It could have been our child. When 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach, 16-year-old Gilad Shaar, and 16-year-old Naftali Frenkel were ab­ducted as they waited for a ride to take them home to their families for Shabbat after spend­ing a week studying at their yeshivot, we were all shaken. Every one of us felt that a piece of our heart and soul had been taken away by the terrorists who snatched the three innocent teenage students. As we watched the parents of the boys speak out publicly about their sons’ kidnapping, we all thought the same thing: that could have been us.

Historically, in times of crisis, Jews have generally come together. Irrespective of where any particular person is on the reli­gious spectrum, we as a people band togeth­er when faced with a challenging and trying situation. Religious and political ideologies are often laid aside when confronted with an emergency situation, such as the one that we are grappling with now.

We remember all too well the torment we endured when Gilad Shalit was taken captive. After he was abducted by Hamas and then spent five years in captivity, we came togeth­er as a people. We prayed for his return and we suffered together with his parents until he was finally reunited with his family.

The situation we find ourselves in now is equally as trying, and perhaps even more so. The boys who were abducted are not soldiers; they are students. They could have been our students.

Nothing is more precious to us than our children. We raise them, we nurture them, we educate them, and we love them. We would do anything to protect them. By grabbing Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali, Hamas demonstrated the despicable depths to which it will sink to terrorize the State of Israel and the Jewish na­tion. The heartless and heinous kidnapping that was perpetrated by Hamas is a sobering reminder that the terrorists will do anything in their power to strike at the very essence of the Jewish people.

And yet, despite the odious nature of this terrorist act, we refuse to let it break our spir­it. We, as Jews, respond to a crisis the only way we know how: together.

Jews throughout the world took to the various social media platforms to raise aware­ness of the boys’ plight and the horrific act that turned our worlds upside down. #Bring­BackOurBoys and #EyalGiladNaftali were trending on Twitter. There was an outpour­ing of support from people around the world for the boys and widespread sympathy for the anguish that their families feel. We all talked about the need to bring back not the boys, but our boys.

As Jews, we also did what we should al­ways do when confronted with an urgent sit­uation such as this: we prayed. People across the globe gathered for prayer vigils and to recite Psalms in communal gatherings. We joined together to cry out and appeal for the swift and safe return of our boys. Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali may not be our biological children, but they are our boys. They are young, inno­cent students who merit our full support and deserve our unconditional love and concern.

As the parent of a daughter, who, like Gi­lad and Naftali is 16-years-old, and who spent this year studying at a high school in Israel, this episode hit especially close to home. When she returns to Israel in the fall to begin anoth­er school year there, the abduction of the three boys will be foremost in my mind.

I will be thinking about it not because I am in any way worried about my daughter, but be­cause I understand that the fact that she wants to be in Israel and go to school there is proof that the terrorists cannot and will not win. There will always be young men and women, families, and seniors who want to travel to Isra­el, to be a part of Israel, and to live in Israel. That unquenchable desire to be in Israel is a testa­ment to the resiliency that we have as a peo­ple and the undying love that we have for the Jewish State.

The Jewish unity that has been on full dis­play during this terrible ordeal is a thing of sheer beauty. The torment that Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali and their families are going through is unimaginable. Yet, despite Hamas’ evil inten­tions and monstrous actions, they have unin­tentionally caused Jews from all walks of life to come together to do everything in our power to bring our boys home.

We are one nation and one family. The safe­ty and well-being of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali is of paramount concern to each and every one of us. We will not rest until our boys are home.

N. Aaron Troodler is an attorney and principal of Paul Revere Public Relations, a public relations and political consulting firm. Visit him on the Web at TroodlersTake. blogspot.com, www.PaulReverePR.com, or www.Jew­ishWorldPR.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @ troodler

By N. Aaron Troodler, Esq.

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