Ever since this past Tuesday saying kaddish has not been the same. It will never be as it once was, for now there are twenty four orphans who must recite kaddish as I do. Twenty four children, sons and daughters, of five holy men slaughtered as they were praying to the Almighty; butchered simply and only because they were Jews. I hear their voices each and every time I recite kaddish and as I say yisgadal veyiskadaash I shed tears, sometimes real and sometimes in my mind, for each of these orphans and their families.
When I began saying kaddish in May I never thought that my kaddish would be in memory of anyone other than my mother a”h. But it has become much more. It has to be. My saying kaddish cannot be just for my mother. It must be recited for the three kidnapped and murdered teenagers. It must memorialize all the fallen soldiers who died defending the Jewish People this summer. It must include all of the too many recent victims of terror. And it must encompass the five holy men murdered so viscously as they davened Shachris on Tuesday morning. May we soon see the day when our unity is not based on saying kaddish.
I write this blog from St. Louis where we and all of our children and grandchildren have gathered to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary. It is a great blessing from the Almighty that He has enabled us to reach this milestone in our lives and to celebrate it with our children and grandchildren. Yet, just like our wedding ceremony under the chuppah forty years ago ended with a focus on the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash (the temple in Jerusalem) our celebration this Shabbos will be dimmed as our hearts and minds are with the grieving families in Har Nof.