What is Your Response to Osama’s Death and The Events in the Middle East?

Although the capturing of Osama is important, the events and the regime changes in the Middle East will have far more of an effect on Israel and the Jews.

A short time ago, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky was asked about the significance of developments in the Middle East and he said:

“People come and say that these events are Gog and Magog. We cannot know if that is so or not, but we are certainly being shown that Mashiach is getting closer, and we must do what we can to strengthen ourselves and prepare for that day. Whoever ignores these signs is a fool.”

Have you done any introspection and teshuva work in response to these events?

Can you suggest any introspection and teshuva work others may want to try?

29 comments on “What is Your Response to Osama’s Death and The Events in the Middle East?

  1. Nathan; there were several times where US intelligence identified Bin Laden and knew his location. this occurred during Clinton’s terms and during the terms of Bush 43. they obviously did not get him at any of those points.

  2. I find it too much of a coincidence that the newly married royals delayed their honeymoon abroad exactly one week. Being that Great Britain is one of our closest allies and has troops in Afghanistan, I would bet that our intelligence agencies got in touch with their intelligence agencies and said something to the effect of: “Too dangerous for Will and Kate to go abroad right now, they’re too much of a target, tell them to stay put right here in Great Britain, under the watchful eyes of a top-notch domestic security detail, one more week until after Joint Special Ops Command captures Geronimo.”

  3. Could it have been the Chazon Ish, rather than the Chofetz Chaim, as the protagonist of that story? I believe that the Chazon Ish was still alive when Stalin died in 1954.

  4. We’re often told that certain stories aren’t quite true but “could” have happened to people of that caliber. If the dates are that far off, even “could” doesn’t work.

    In general, I would like inspirational stories to be either 100% true based on facts available to the author, or else labeled clearly as fiction.

  5. >It reminds me of when the Chofetz Chaim was told that Stalin died. <

    The CC died decades before Stalin.

  6. משלי פרק יא (י) בְּטוּב צַדִּיקִים תַּעֲלֹץ קִרְיָה וּבַאֲבֹד רְשָׁעִים רִנָּה

    When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish, there is joy. Mishlei 11:10

  7. President Obama deserves lots of credit for making the decision to carry out this operation. there have been plenty of equivalent opportunities before which went unused.

  8. I don’t see why we need to elaborate here on threats everyone understands already.

  9. To the administrator, I don’t know what misinterpretation you’re referring to. My story about Sep. 11th was not a reaction to Bin Laden’s assissination. It was to bring out more clearly another example to illustrate my feelings that Judy’s last paragraph in her first comment #5 shouldn’t be posted in a public forum. Notwithstanding her long defense and elaboration on the subject, the fact that “everybody knows already anyway” is enough of a reason not to have to publicly post potentially dangerous information. You never know when some crackpot or rasha who didn’t think of it before will come across your words and act on them.

    You don’t have to post this either. I just wanted to clarify my point to you.


  10. As for the coming of Mashiach & Teshuva, I would love to hear from those who disagree, but my impression has been that when I hear about longing for mashiach, and the urgency of doing teshuva in anticipation of y’mei mashiach, I am USUALLY at a Chabad event!! Do other communities/yeshivas focus on mashiach and interpret world events accordingly? Are the talmidim taught to long for and prepare for mashiach in their curriculum?

  11. I must admit I agree with CB. I think many of us post on blogs thinking our words reach only those we wish them to reach. I wouldn’t give out specific information about the layout of my community or any other Jewish community over the net, just as a matter of safety.

    In any event, while I thought the partying by mostly young adults at Times Square and Washington was over the top, I did feel comforted by the thought that a great evil was taken out of our midst. My daughter’s reaction: ” I hope he gets a seat next to Haman in Gehennim”..

  12. To C.B. #12: Reb Matisyahu Solomon of Lakewood Yeshiva spoke the night before the 9/11 attacks, literally on September 10, 2001, and he explicitly mentioned that the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn is only five minutes away from the Arab-Muslim neighborhood of Bay Ridge. So this is not a chiddush.

    Everyone in New York City is aware that the subways and bus lines present an inviting target, so the NYPD is ramping up its See Something, Say Something campaign, which already paid off in preventing the Times Square car bomb attack.

    We already know that the terrorists are incredibly ingenious and imaginative in selecting and taking down their targets. On 9/11 itself, they deliberately selected domestic flights precisely because at that time, security on domestic flights was far less than on overseas flights. However, they selected transcontinental domestic flights (East Coast to West Coast) in order to ensure that the planes held enough aviation fuel. In addition, they bought connecting tickets going toward their final destination flights, and ran up to the gates at the last minute, shouting that they would miss their connections. Back at that time, individuals could get checked and boarded right at the gate for domestic flights, particularly when it was a matter of being sympathetic toward passengers rushing not to miss their connecting flights. (There also was an erroneous assumption that these passengers had been security screened prior to boarding their first airplanes).

    The recent plots to blow up planes using explosives inside toner cartridges in copy machines sent as cargo, and the bomber with explosives in his underwear, show that the terrorists are fiendishly smart in trying to think up new ways to kill lots of people.

    I am not Chas v’Sholom trying to give terrorists any ideas for targets. Believe me anything I could think of or mention here has already been considered ten times over by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the counter terrorism task force. I remember being in the General Post Office at Eighth Avenue and 33rd Street in NYC and thinking how vulnerable the garbage pails were. Somebody in law enforcement services was also thinking along similar lines, for soon after, the garbage pails were redesigned to not allow large bags to be thrown inside.

  13. CB, we meant teshuva and introspection work and we changed the post to make that explicit.

    Thanks for pointing out the possible misinterpretation.

  14. I don’t know why I didn’t get excited over Bin Laden’s assassination. Is it just me or is there a reason to feel blase? I was happy when Arafat and Saddam Hussein died, but nothing seems to have changed much. It reminds me of when the Chofetz Chaim was told that Stalin died. I forgot what he said exactly, but he wasn’t excited because the Yidden still weren’t allowed to practice Yiddishkeit in the Soviet Union.

    #2 – Are we supposed to daven for peace for the whole world? Of course, that will come after the r’sha’im are destroyed with the coming of Moshiach, but I once heard that a talmid chochom (don’t remember who) said during the Viet Nam war that we shouldn’t daven for peace in Viet Nam because that would mean we want the status quo to remain, and we want to progress towards Moshiach, not stay with the status quo.

    #3 – Even though the terrorists don’t need us to tell them how to do their dastardly deeds, I think it’s not a good idea to post instructions in a publicly accessible forum such as this. Please don’t take it personally , but, I really recommend that the moderator remove that last paragraph from your post.

    I work for a company that does computer processing and clearing for brokerage comapanies. After Sep. 11 a news magazine interviewed someone who had worked as a consultant for my company and, to point out the lack of adequate security in the country at that time, he said, “If you want to take out a quarter of the New York stock exchange, just take out…” and he mentioned the building that I work in. As you can imagine, the CEO of the company wasn’t too happy. He called the publisher of the magazine and asked him, “What were you thinking when you printed that?” and insisted on taking whatever damage control measures he could, including removing the name of the company from the outside of the building. So, let’s not give any ideas to terrorists. They have enough of their own, r”l, without our help.

    Thank you for your indulgence.

  15. Babylonian Talmud, tractate Sanhedrin, page 39B, 18th to 19th lines on page:

    Rabbi Yosi bar Chanina taught:
    He [G_d] does not rejoice [when the wicked perish], but people [literally, others] may rejoice.

    תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין דף לט/ב
    אמר רבי יוסי בר חנינא הוא אינו שש אבל אחרים משיש

    Tanach/Bible, Mishlei/Proverbs, chapter 11, verse 10:

    …when the wicked perish, there is song.

    ספר משלי פרק יא
    וּבַאֲבֹד רְשָׁעִים רִנָּה

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  16. I think it’s important that while we acknowledge a certain restraint is appropriate with respect to celebrating a killing — just as a matter of one’s own dignity — that we also never forget that there is good and evil, and yeish din v’yeish dayan [there is justice and there is a Judge]. It is indeed an occasion for gratitude when we can see judgment meted out in our own lifetimes in the way it was here.

  17. Steve,

    I guess we’ve all applauded the SEAL team in some fashion; do you have something specific in mind?

  18. Hakaras HaTov, the Haggadah teaches us, knows no Statute of Limitations. I would suggest that we all applaud the actions of the Seal unit , which not even Tom Clancy would have imagined being accomplished in such a fearless and ultimately satisfying manner.

  19. Rabbi Yissocher Frand did a great tape after 9/11 about Galus Yishmoel and how it differs from Galus Aisav, talking about how Yishmoel is a “pera odom,” a wild man, and how Yishmoel also has “power in his mouth,” similar to Yaakov, because Yishmoel also in his own way prays to Gd.

    Our Muslim enemies like Osama bin Laden and Ahmadinejad of Iran, who tirade against the Jews and vow to destroy Israel, exemplify the worst features of Yishmoel and Amaleik.

    It’s true as we say in the Haggadah that in every generation an enemy rises up to destroy us but HKB”H saves us from their hand.

    There are unfortunately many other jihadists and extremists out there who want to kill the Jews. Commentators were talking about the Yemen branch of Al-Qaeda known as AQAP (Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula) which last year tried to send bombs in toner cartridges to Jewish targets. There are American-born Islamists who do active recruiting within the United States for Muslim American citizens who hate Jews.

    The Jewish community of Boro Park in Brooklyn is five minutes away from a large Egyptian Arab Muslim community in the Bay Ridge neighborhood. To give you an idea how close they are, the Jewish community sort of ends at 9th Avenue and 60th Street, while the Arab Muslim community starts near 5th Avenue and 77th Street. One bus line, the B11 bus, links Bay Ridge and Boro Park and Flatbush. All a homegrown terrorist needs to do is to board the bus at Second Avenue in Bay Ridge (unlike Egged in Jerusalem, there is no security screening for Brooklyn buses) with a backpack full of explosives, detonating it Gd Forbid when the bus gets to Thirteenth Avenue in the heart of Boro Park. Or even worse, the terrorist could get on the subway system and detonate a backpack with a dirty bomb in the heart of NYC’s Penn Station, where the Long Island Rail Road meets Amtrak and Madison Square Garden at 33rd and 7th Avenue in Manhattan, which would take down most of midtown Gd Forbid and at the heart of evening rush hour Gd Forbid kill thousands of people.

  20. I think that the request was for a response to the news, not a political opinion. If one always takes a high analytical road, I think one misses the opportunity for growth in avodat hashem.

    For example, if you allowed yourself to feel joy at hearing the news, then upon reflection you might then have a deeper understanding of what it means to serve hashem b’simcha in all of His mitzvos, including the more difficult-to-understand ones such as mechias amalek. But if you just analyze over-the-top and say dogmatically “one must put trust only in hashem” then you missed the message and have made yourself less sensitive to future opportunities for growth.

  21. Bow deeply during Modim. Ha-Shem has shown a sign of tremedous rachmunus for the entire world. And always daven for peace for the entire world. There’s nothing greater than shalom.

  22. It’s very clear that the US approach to terrorism is selective. The Obama Administration gets along famously with Muslim Brotherhood operatives here and abroad, does nothing against Hamas and Hezbollah, and gives no support to the internal Iranian opposition. Meanwhile the same bunch thumbs its nose at Israel at every public and private opportunity. The Europeans are worse yet. So job one is to put our trust in HaShem, not in the nations of the world. Whatever we do to lobby or influence these nations is important and necessary, yet secondary to building our emunah.

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