The Red-Headed Girl Who Made Me Cry

The Red-Headed Girl Who Made Me Cry
Today I attended the bar mitzvah of the son of my dear friend and learning partner, Ilana.
After her son David read (so beautifully) from the Torah, Ilana stood up to read the names of all the hostages as we sang Acheynu, “As for our brothers, the whole house of Israel, who are given over to trouble or captivity…May the All-present have mercy upon them, and bring them forth…to redemption.”
And then I noticed the young red-headed girl sitting across the aisle from me. She was around 9 years old, sitting with her mother who, I noticed, had put her arm around her daughter right when Ilana started reading the names.
And then I saw something that shocked me. The girl was CRYING. The hostages have been in captivity for 143 days, and the thought of their suffering still moves her to tears!
When was the last time the thought of the hostages moved me to tears? I pray for the hostages every single day. But cry? I don’t remember the last time I cried for them.
But then, looking at this girl crying, I felt my throat clench up, and tears began to fall. I was wiping away actual tears from my cheeks, and I couldn’t stop.
The woman sitting next to me asked me, “Do you have a family member who is a hostage?”
It was hard to talk, so I pointed at the girl, “She is crying, and it made me cry too…”
And I thought to myself, if this girl could open my heart, clamped shut for 143 days to keep myself from caring too much, from feeling the pain too much, then maybe…
So I walked over to the girl, and I whispered in her ear, “I want you to know that I have a feeling that your tears from your heart right now opened up the gates of Heaven, and Hashem is going to make a miracle for us, and bring the hostages home very, very soon.”
She smiled and wiped away a tear, and I did too.

[For those who missed it, here is the original post]

The Red-Headed Girl Who Made Me Cry
Today I attended the bar mitzvah of the son of my dear friend and learning partner, Ilana.
After her son David read (so beautifully) from the Torah, Ilana stood up to read the names of all the hostages as we sang Acheynu, “As for our brothers, the whole house of Israel, who are given over to trouble or captivity…May the All-present have mercy upon them, and bring them forth…to redemption.”
And then I noticed the young red-headed girl sitting across the aisle from me. She was around bat-mitzvah age, sitting with her mother who, I noticed, had put her arm around her daughter right when Ilana started reading the names.
And then I saw something that shocked me. The girl was CRYING. The hostages have been in captivity for 143 days, and the thought of their suffering still moves her to tears!
When was the last time the thought of the hostages moved me to tears? I pray for the hostages every single day. But cry? I don’t remember the last time I cried for them.
But then, looking at this girl crying, I felt my throat clench up, and tears began to fall. I was wiping away actual tears from my cheeks, and I couldn’t stop.
The woman sitting next to me asked me, “Do you have a family member who is a hostage?”
It was hard to talk, so I pointed at the girl, “She is crying, and it made me cry too…”
And I thought to myself, if this girl could open my heart, clamped shut for 143 days to keep myself from caring too much, from feeling the pain too much, then maybe…
So I walked over to the girl, and I whispered in her ear, “I want you to know that I have a feeling that your tears from your heart right now opened up the gates of Heaven, and Hashem is going to make a miracle for us, and bring the hostages home very, very soon.”
She smiled and wiped away a tear, and I did too.

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