Tuesday, June 18, 2024

May God (not us) Avenge Their Blood

3 IDF soldiers KIA - On far right - Charedi Captain Yisrael Yudkin, (Arutz Sheva)
Every time a Jewish soldier in the IDF gets killed, my heart sinks. These soldiers are the diamonds of the Jewish people. The go into battle knowing full well that they may not come out of it alive. They do it because they understand that fighting for one’s people is not merely a platitude. 

They mean it and do it! They don’t just talk the talk, They walk the walk. We have an obligation to express our most sincere and everlasting gratitude for what they do. A daily sacrifice that may come at the ultimate price. Which brings me to the following sad report from the Times of Israel:

Eight Israeli soldiers were killed in a blast in the southern Gaza Strip’s Rafah on Saturday morning, the military announced, in what marked the deadliest incident for the Israel Defense Forces in the enclave since January.. 

In a separate incident, a 9th IDF soldier was killed as well. That brings the total number of IDF soldier killed in action to 309.

Imagine what the parents of these brave young soldiers must be going through. They were surely expecting a bright future for their sons after the war. A future that probably included getting married and starting a family. Instead they are now sitting Shiva.  

There are no words.

Which brings me to the outrage expressed by a Charedi family at the IDF - as reported in Arutz Sheva   

The family of Yisrael Yudkin HY’D, a Charedi soldier who was tragically killed in Gaza, says that the government is refusing to allow the words “Hashem Yikom Damo” (‘Hashem shall avenge his blood’) to be placed on his tombstone.  

Hashem Yikom Damo is indeed a phrase that often follows the name of someone that was murdered.  One would think that allowing the family to place whatever words they wish on their son's tombstone is the least the IDF could do to honor one of their own who died serving their country - if that is what the family wants. Is that really too much to ask ?

On the other hand I think I understand why the IDF refuses to place any statement about vengeance on a tombstone. Even though it is meant only as a prayer to God that He should execute vengeance in His own way; in His own time.

Seeing these words on a Tombstone could easily lead to is human vengeance. That cannot be allowed. There are some people among the extreme right who could take matters into their own hands. That is one of the things ‘Price Taggers’ were known for. They would exact revenge from Palestinians who had nothing to do with the act they were avenging. The IDF wants to prevent that kind of thing from happening by not allowing words like that to appear by anyone with the penchant for violence against innocent people because of who they are instead of what they did..

 The family of that slain Charedi soldier are making another claim about the IDF reason for not allowing that phrase: 

                The Ministry of Defense does not approve the word “Hashem”

I suppose that’s possible. But I tend to doubt that this is the reason. That the IDF  now has Charedi battalions and has gone out of their way to accommodate them. This makes it seem highly unlikely that the use of the word HaShem on a tombstone would be against IDF policy.  

Is the family lashing out in frustration? I don’t know. Either way I don’t blame them. But I also understand the IDF. 

Who is right here? Not sure.