Rabbi Shmuel Eliayhu
Rabbi Shmuel EliayhuPhoto: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, referred to the assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in his daily lesson, the following is the full transcript:

In Modim of the Amidah we proclaim: ‘and for Your miracles which are with us every day.’ Today, I could not help but give thanks to the Holy One Blessed Be He for the miracle and kindness He performed for us Friday afternoon when our soldiers succeeded in killing the head of the serpent – the lead nuclear physicist of the atomic-bomb project in Iran.

It is written: ‘They have said, Come and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel shall no longer be in remembrance,’ (Psalms, 83:5). This was their plan, and the plan of the head of the serpent, that Israel be no longer in remembrance, G-d forbid. In a secret action that amazed the world, with no one knowing how it occurred, he was assassinated, as if from out of nowhere, and this wasn’t the first time we have acted with such bold and daring swiftness.

There is a Midrash which speaks about four kings, each with a different request regarding the enemies of Israel. David said: ‘I will pursue my enemies and overtake them; I will not turn back till they are destroyed,’ (Tehillim, 18: 38). Asa said that he lacked strength and would only chase his enemies away. Yeshafat said that he would only sing a song of praise. Hezkiahu said, 'I will lie on my bed and You perform the miracle'. Obviously, David was greater than the rest. This is what is said: ‘Give Your strength to Your servant,’ (Psalms, 86:16).

We are not to sit idle and wait for Hashem to make a miracle. That was fitting during the Exodus from Egypt, in accordance with G-d’s plan: ‘The L-rd shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace,’ (Exodus, 14:14). This is when we were weak.

But David epitomized Israel’s strength, saying, ‘Give Your strength to Your servant.’ Knowing that his strength came from Hashem, he went forth to battle against Israel’s enemies, and this is the greatest Kiddush Hashem.

We are not to sit and do nothing. This is seen in the drama of Hanukah, when we thank Hashem for the ‘givorot’ and the ‘tishuot.’ What ‘givorot’ – mighty deeds - is this referring to? We mention that the ‘giborot’ – the strong – were delivered into the hands of the weak. We were weak, not strong. The answer is that we ourselves were weak – a tiny fighting force – but the strength of Hashem appeared in our midst. The verse cited by King David became manifest in the deeds of the Maccabees: ‘I will pursue my enemies and overtake them; I will not turn back till they are destroyed.’

This is what has happened now. We have to give thanks to the Holy One Blessed Be He over the death of this snake; to and dance and celebrate like on a Yom Tov. I don’t know why we recited Tachanun this morning. We should have recited Hallel! We have to say thank you, thank you, thank you, Holy One Blessed Be He, we are not blind, we see your salvation with opened eyes. We feel Your love for us, and we return our love for you, forever and ever.”