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Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Phone Call

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

This was sent out by Rabbi Yitzchok Eisenman of Passaic, New Jersey to his Short Vort list on Friday morning. Rabbi Eisenman and I have known each other for 35 years (Hat Tip: Debbie R, who has known me even longer).
Sorry to bother you on Erev Shabbos, however, I just got off the phone with *Mrs. Rachelli (née Sprecher) Frankel, mother of Naftali Frankel (Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah) *one of the three boys abducted by Hamas last week.

The phone call lasted about 7 or 8 minutes; however, I am still shaking from the experience.

Mrs. Frankel related to me how she received a text message from her son Naftali last Thursday night at about 9:30 PM informing her that he would be home soon.

Having heard that he was on his way home and thinking that this Thursday night would be the same as any other Thursday evening, she replied via text that she and his father would be going to sleep and they would see him on Friday morning; no different than any other weekend when he came home from Yeshiva.

They were awakened in the middle of the night with the news that their son was missing and was abducted.

And from that day on all she and her family have been attempting to do is ‘stay sane'.

From that phone call in the middle of last Thursday night her life has been thrown into a confused and painful existence.

From a mother concerned with the normal mundane things of life, she has been transformed into a one woman spokesperson and representative of all Jewish women and of their love and concern for their children. She told me how the ‘achdus' (unity) she has witnessed has been ‘amazing'.

She specifically told me how both the Chareidi and secular communities have been unbelievable in their outpouring of support and caring. She told me that numerous secular Jews have contacted her to tell her that although they have not put on Tefillin for years, this week they put on Tefillin!

Evan Yair Lapid, the secular Minister of Finance said, “I haven't prayed in six years. I haven't gone into a synagogue since my son's bar mitzvah. When I heard what had happened to your sons, I turned my house upside down to look for my grandfather's prayer book. I sat down and prayed.”

Mrs. Frankel related to me how people from all over the country have informed her of acts of kindness and about learning they have taken upon themselves for the sake of the boys.

She ended the conversation by saying, “I have never seen such ‘achdus' as displayed by all Jews of all stripes as I have witnessed this last week.”

She then paused and added, “You know, if Hamas- whose mission is to destroy us- would have realized how much unity and how much harmony they have generated among us, they would have never kidnapped the boys in the first place.”

She begged me to tell all of you to continue your acts of Tefillah and kindness and mitzvohs on behalf of the boys.

She pleaded with me to spread the message among my congregants and among Americans (Jew and non-Jew) of the importance of remaining united and focused on the task of doing whatever we can do to keep the pressure on to get the boys released.

She then added, “You never know which act of kindness, which Chessed, which person saying Tehillim and which Tefillah offered by which person is going to be the one to finally tip the scales in Heaven in their favor. Please, please tell everyone to continue. Please tell them to remain unified and to continue their mitzvohs until I can once again hug my Naftali.”

He voice became weak and I could hear and sense the tears swelling in her eyes.

“Shabbat Shalom” she whispered, and hung up.

As I placed the phone down, I thought to myself, ‘She said “Shabbat Shalom” which means a Shabbos of Shalom, of peace; indeed, she is correct, that is exactly what we all need: a Shabbos of Shalom.'

May all Jewish mothers- including (and especially) the mothers of the three boys- be privileged to hug their children this Shabbos.
No comment needed.

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