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מרים פרץ בבית משפחת פלאי

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Videos from the home of the Paley family on Mintz Street in Jerusalem reached me in New York the moment they were taken. These short videos are lessons for the whole world to see. With the frenetic pace of every day news, the terrorist attack that occurred this past Friday in the Ramot neighborhood may already be forgotten, even in the midst of sitting Shiva (7-day period of mourning) for the two Paley boys, Ya'akov Yisrael and Asher Menachem.

In one of the videos, the mother, Devorah Paley, sits opposite teenagers who have taken mitzvah obligations upon themselves in memory of her sons. One of the youths says that he will show greater respect to his friends, a second vows to show more honor to his parents, and a third promises to put on tefillin.

In another video, Devorah speaks about her motto at home: "Never say oof, but always chapter koof." Oof is an exclamation of complaint, whereas chapter koof (ק or 100) in the book of Psalms is about gratitude. This psalm was recited when bringing a Thanksgiving offering to the Holy Temple; it's a simple expression of thanks to God that sings His praises. Many campaigns to recite Psalm 100 were inspired by Devorah's motto.

Last night, Miriam Peretz, who lost two sons fighting in the IDF, came to console the family. "None of us are asked if we want to be born and none of us are told when we are going to die. That's in the hands of God. But I did learn something from King David. When his child was sick, he sat on the floor and did not eat or drink. But after they told him 'The boy is dead,' the next word that appears is 'Vayakam' -- he got up.

KIng David got up, dressed himself, and ate. This is what you need to do -- to get up. The children are already angels in heaven. They are being taken care of up there. As for us, God is giving us renewed strength every single day. I buried two sons and a husband too, but I also married off my children and so there are grandchildren and many joyful occasions to celebrate. God opens His gates and we learn how to better connect and get closer to Him, especially at times of supreme crisis."

And then Devorah said to Miriam: "You have given me strength. I see opposite me someone who has 'gotten up.'"

And Miriam said: "Your children have brought unity to the nation of Israel. If only this unity will accompany us always and not only when we bury our dead".


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