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A lesson in faith

סרן דניאל פרץ זל

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])

Last night, Major Daniel Perez, who had been taken hostage, was declared a casualty of war. I send condolences to our dear friends Rabbi Doron Perez and his wife Shelly, a couple who have been teaching us a lesson in faith since Simchat Torah. I have been following Rabbi Doron though the many lectures he has given in Israel and throughout the world. Ironically, he was the one who typically consoled and strengthened others when you might think that they should have consoled and strengthened him.

“My way of coping is the most micro and the most macro,” he confided. “The most micro: A person needs to focus not only on today, but on this moment right now. The most macro: Wow, the nation of Israel is something much greater than us as individuals. We are part of a universal story that has meaning for everyone.”

Their son Yonatan was married during the time that Daniel was considered missing. “It was not delusional; it was Jewish,” Rabbi Doron explained. ״Under the chuppah we recalled Daniel, but after we gave room to our tears, we rose up in joy. I was reminded of the prophet Jeremiah, who saw the destruction of the Holy Temple yet still promised: ‘There shall be heard in the cities of Yehuda, and in the streets of Jerusalem, the sound of gladness and the sound of joy, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.’”

I got to know Rabbi Doron as the chairman of the World Mizrachi movement which has long been focused on Jewish education and strengthening Jewish identity. But he never dreamed about the incredible unity among our people that would show itself in the face of our current brand of challenges. “Hamas came to destroy us, but strengthened us instead. Out of the grim day of Simchat Torah 5784, something phenomenal will grow. Just as the darkness of that day is incomprehensible, the brightness of the light to come will be incomprehensible too.”

In memory of Daniel Shimon ben Doron.


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