Itamar, faith, and unimaginable strength

This story, from Arutz Sheva, has left me speechless.

In a radio interview on Monday, Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai, the father of Ruth Fogel, one of the victims of the Itamar massacre, displayed strength that’s almost unimaginable.

His remarks on Voice of Israel government radio reportedly brought tears to the eyes of the interviewer.

After Rabbi Ben-Yishai expressed profound pain but no anger or calls for vengeance, interviewer Estie Perez, who has described herself as a secular Jew, asked:

“Where do you have the strength and restraint that you can talk now and strengthen us, without anger and without calling for vengeance – that is not in your voice? Where is the strength from?”

Rabbi Ben-Yishai answered:

“I have worked in education many years, and as an educator, I try to strengthen and teach people faith. I understand that I cannot be satisfied with words and that I also must implement the same principles on which I have educated others. This is a test of my faith, and therefore I agreed to be interviewed.”

“I believe in the country, in our strength and in the strength of the army, and I ask how did this strength not save our children?”

Ben-Yishai said that he asked the oldest surviving children, 12-year-old Tamar and eight-year-old Ro’i, if they wanted to say the Kaddish prayer, recited by mourners and expressing their faith in G-d.

“They answered, ‘Of course. They are our parents, brothers and sisters.'”

Ben-Yishai concluded:

“They understand.”

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