Rabbi Lazer Brody
In the "good old days", The GRAD missiles would fall one be one. Earlier this week - this past Shabbat and yesterday morning - they've been falling four at a time, attesting to the new mobile rocket launchers that have made their way into Gaza via Egypt during the recent chaotic times of Arab Spring and Summer. The Islamic Jihad, as faithful proxies to their Iranian benefactors, have been testing how much they can get away with without. They've been getting away with quite a bit, for it seems that in the post-Shalit era, Israeli deterrence is at an all-time low.
People ask me, "Reb Lazer, you talk about emuna all the time; you say that Hashem does everything for the best. How can being on the receiving end of those deadly GRAD missiles be for the best?" I'm glad they asked.
Burnt Cars in the aftermath of a GRAD attack in Ashdod Emuna Outreach, Ashdod
Emuna means knowing that everything comes from Hashem, that everything is truly for our ultimate benefit and that everything is for a purpose. Emuna means a smile even when you're under the gun.
So what purpose did the recent missile barrages serve?
We saw big miracles. We saw how a GRAD missile landed on a school that has been serving as a makeshift synagogue on Shabbat for the last 40 years. This past Shabbat, for several "happenstance" reasons, the minyan was cancelled...
We saw how a GRAD missile landed between two 15-story condos, completely gutting six cars but not causing any human casualties.
Today, the man on the street in Ashdod is speaking differently; he's using words like "Hashem", "emuna" and "miracles." People that have no connection to formal observance are declaring, "Hashem is in Ashdod - He's right here with us! We love You, Hashem."
When we don't get close to Hashem on our own accord, He brings us close to Him. Sometimes a good sheep dog must give a lamb as little bite in the thigh to keep it from straying. The GRADs in Ashdod are to keep us from straying and to encourage us to strengthen our emuna so that we'll be spiritually able to receive the bright light of Moshiach and Geula, the full redemption of our people, speedily and in our days, amen!
Rabbi Lazer Brody is a resident of the port city of Ashdod, twenty miles north of Gaza