Following Tragedy, Focus on Unity

Yael Eckstein  |  April 30, 2021

Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of one of the victims of Meron stampede at Segula cemetery in Petah Tikva on April 30, 2021. - A massive stampede at a densely packed Jewish pilgrimage site killed at least 44 people in northern Israel. The tragedy struck after pilgrims thronged to the reputed site of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's tomb at Mount Meron, where mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews mark the Lag BaOmer holiday. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP) (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

The nation of Israel and all who stand for her have turned our hearts to God following news of the tragic events at a Jewish celebration at Mount Meron in the Galilee. Writing at Newsweek, Yael talks about what can be done, both on the ground and in our hearts, in the wake of this tragedy:

Maybe we’re all to blame. Maybe we’re all at fault. How many of us can truly say that in the past few months, we’ve been holding our brothers and sisters up, instead of trampling all over them?

When I woke up to the horrifying news from Mount Meron of the 44 innocent, beautiful souls taken from the world in the midst of celebration and rejoicing, I cried. I laid in bed, tears streaming down my face, frantically looking at different news reports hoping to find answers. But of course, those answers never came; only more questions, only more pain.

I was present in my grief for moments, which felt like an eternity, until I terrified myself at how rapidly my tears of unadulterated sadness began to transform into anger, and judgement, and hate.

Putting all emotions to the side, I quickly got to work. What needs could I help with? How could my organization provide service at this time?

Read more of Yael’s response to the Lag B’Omer tragedy at Mount Meron at Newsweek.

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