Support services for missing teenagers

June 17, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Members of the Sydey and Melbourne Jewish communities gathered last night to pray together for the missing Israeli teenage boys Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel captured by Palestinian terrorists.

Hundreds of members of the community came together at Sydney’s Moriah College to give their support through song, prayer, psalms and speeches and to send a message of hope and positivity to the families in Israel. The meeting was led by Rabbi Benji Levy who addressed the audience

Moriah College

Moriah College

“The entire community coming together, we were debating whether to use a class room or the shule, but to see an entire auditorium with hundreds and hundreds of people…’

The kidnapping of these young teenagers has shocked the international Jewish community, with similar events happening all across the world. This gathering has been recorded and is due to be sent to Israel to show support from halfway across the world.

In his opening speech Rabbi Levy expresses the impact the kidnapping has had worldwide

‘This isn’t a Jewish issue, this is a human rights issue. These young boys were on their way home to see their families, we don’t know where they are, we don’t know what they’re experiencing right now.”

Rabbi Levy’s message resonates with the audience and wider community to band together and show support for the young boys and their families.

“Tonight we come together in solidarity, we come together to send a message to the world, and to shake the heavens to say bring our boys home”.

Community leaders Dr Colin Rubenstein and Dr Danny Lamm at the Melbourne service Pic: Peter Haskin

Community leaders Dr Colin Rubenstein and Dr Danny Lamm at the Melbourne service               Pic: Peter Haskin

In Melbourne, the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) and the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria (COSV) held a communal prayer service at Caulfield Hebrew Congregation.

Hundreds of community members flocked to the Synagogue with only a few hours notice to join in prayer and hope for the safe return of the three young students, Eyal Yifrach, Gilaad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel, who were kidnapped by terrorists last week.

Many organisations across the spectrum of the community were quick to support the gathering which was attended by men, women and children of all ages.

After Maariv, Tehillim was recited followed by an impassioned key note address by RCV President, Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant.

Rabbi Kluwgant addressing the service Photo: Peter Haskin

Rabbi Kluwgant addressing the service Photo: Peter Haskin

COSV President, Isaac Teller said that he was encouraged by how quickly the Melbourne Jewish Community was mobilised to gather in prayer and solidarity.

At the conclusion of the service, the youth of the Shul ascended to the Bima and sang “Achenu Kol Beis Yisrael”; all those gathered joined in spontaneously.

Rabbi Meir Kluwgant’s address…

et achai anochi mevakesh, hagida na li efo hem… “I am searching for my brothers…

tell me please where are they?”

Ten years ago when I was in Israel I was travelling to Chevron to pray at the Mearat Hamachpela at two in the morning. My driver took me past the bus stop at Gush Etziyon and there was a young student standing there with his thumb out looking for a lift into Chevron

“Is he crazy” I asked? Only the day before a young boy was killed right here at this bus stop by terrorists. “No he is not crazy” was the reply. Apparently it as well known that these terrorists do not hit the same place twice in a row.

And now ten years later, 3 young boys who left from this same bus stop have been kidnapped and are in the hands of terrorists.

‘Vayizaku’ – and the Jewish people cried out to G-d ‘Vayitzaku’ – and they screamed

Over the years how much crying, how many screams, how often has the Jewish Nation poured out its heart in prayer and supplication to the Almighty. How many cups would it take to fill the tears of sorrow and mourning?

kidnapped-290Our sages concern themselves with these two words Vaiyzaku and Vayitzaku and they ponder the difference in their meaning. Whether we translate these words as crying or screaming, whether we interpret them as this kind of prayer or that kind of prayer, the bottom line is that G-d in all His mercy and justice did not respond to them.

He did not respond to cries, or tears, or even the screams – our Holy Torah tells us that Viyishma es Naakosom – when did he hear them? Viyishma – he listened he heard them when they were depleted, when they no longer had words or tears or screams but simply Naakosom – all they could get out from their tired and wary beings was a moan, a groan of supplication before Him.

What are we going to say here tonight?

These three young boys, teenage students, Eyal Yifrach, Gilaad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel were kidnapped, not because they are Israeli’s, not because of land issues, occupied or otherwise, or housing, or East or West Jerusalem, or one or two or 10 State solutions – they were kidnapped because they are Jewish – pure and simple. They were kidnapped by terrorists who hate Jews and do not wish for peace but to see an end to the very existence of the Jewish nation.

And no amount of negotiation for land, or prisoners or anything else will fix this problem.

Not long ago we celebrated the anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel, but in all the hype and celebration, our Homeland and people remain subjected to the whims and persecution of terrorist who shoot rockets into our backyards, who mutilate our people, and who kidnap young students.

Tonight we are here to acknowledge that in all the sorrow – over all the years and millennia it was only Hakadosh Boruch Hu – G-d Almighty who saved us.

It is what it is. Negotiating for land and people with terrorists who still to this very day do not acknowledge Israel’s right to exist; will not bring about peace. Certainly not the peace we pray for and wish for when we sing ‘oseh shalom bimromav’.

So what will bring peace? What will bring salvation to our people to our children, to Eyal, to Gilaad, and to Naftali … ?

The answer is Viyishma Elokim ess naakosom – after our prayers tonight let us go home and make a difference. Let us resolve to do one mitzvah that we already do, just a little better, or to add to the Torah learning that we already do by an extra 1 minute, or perhaps let us resolve to go over to people who we don’t like so much, who we don’t get on with and try to improve our relationship with them and to bring peace into our own homes and communities.

Let us take these young boys home with us tonight and remember them not only in our prayers but more importantly through our actions.

There is no one in this room who has nothing they can add in their service of G-d and to Man – let us resolve for the sake of our children – to bring light into a dark world – so that we will imminently hear of the safe return of Yaakov Naftali ben Rochel, Devorah, Gilad Michoel ben Bat Galim, Eyal ben Iris Teshurah to their parents, to their home and to their people.

May the Almighty protect them, keep them from harm and bring them home safe and sound.


Rachel Mihalovich contributed the Melburne report


5 Responses to “Support services for missing teenagers”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    …over the years how much crying…….and how so much suffering has brought you all together as a family, a race and a nation.
    The Book of Life records it well.
    May they soon be found safe and well.
    Another mother.

  2. Shein Ariely says:

    The daily reality highlighting the different moral values of the Palestinians and
    -Israel protects “” life “” including the families of their enemy leaders.
    -Palestinians indoctrinates “”death”” for all Jews including children and civilians.

    Palestinians kidnapped 3 school boys.
    What is Israel response? :

    1: The wife of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has been treated in an
    Israeli hospital.

    (Points to know about Abbas:
    1.3:Abbas unity government in his own words :

    “” Abbas is in line with Hamas opposing Israel ‘s right to exist””
    “”Abbas public statements recognizing Israel’s right to exist to the West are
    designed “to trick the Americans””

    1.2:Abbas Fatah glorifies suicide bombers killing Israeli civilians.

    1.3:Abbas in his doctorate wrote:
    “” The Jews which were killed by the Nazis in the holocaust were victims of a
    Zionist-Nazi plot””

    2:Hamas is responsible for the kidnapping?
    2.1: Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh promotes and indoctrinates the hate ideology.
    — Clinton testimony: Hamas indoctrination of Kids- Bombs more precious than

    2.2:””The day of judgment will not come until Moslems fight killing the Jews. The stones and trees will say
    Hamas charter:

    2.3: What is Israel response ?
    -Israel allowed the mother-in-law of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh into the
    country for medical treatment.–Israel-Haniyeh
    -The granddaughter of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was transferred to an Israeli hospital for treatment, sources in the Gaza Strip confirmed.

    – World Health Organization report:
    Israel approved 91.5 percent of all Palestinian applications to receive medical
    care within the State of Israel.
    Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli organization, saved the lives of 3,000 children, of who half were hailing from the Palestinian Authority
    The official PA daily Al Hayat Al Jadida has recognized these facts

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