Tragedy strikes the Chicago and Israel communities...catastrophic...tragic...horrific. All of these descriptors have been used to describe the terrible news of the death of Moshe Menora and three of his granddaughters (Sara and Rickie, age 17, and Racheli, age 15) in a plane accident yesterday in Michigan. (The only bright spot is that a fourth grandchild, Netanel, was spared and is in a Michigan hospital in critical condition--may Hashem send him a refuah shlema.)
In the blink of an eye, the Menora, Klein and Schreiber families' lives have been completely sent into turmoil. Day has turned into night and light into a devastating darkness. Yet...it is not only their tragedy...It is important for them to know that all of us--those who knew the family and those who never met them--are all in a state of mourning at this moment. Granted, we have NO IDEA of the searing pain they are feeling. Yet, I must tell you that after looking at dozens of Jewish news services and speaking to countless people, their tragedy is felt deeply in so many hearts of the Jewish people. At the moment I am writing this, there is still much confusion and chaos as to what will be relative to the funeral(s); the sitting of shiva; the medical condition of Netanel, etc. But one thing is certain: KLAL YISRAEL MOURNS THIS TRAGEDY alongside the family. How often have we seen news reports of light plane crashes with multiple family members killed and thought to ourselves, "how very sad..." and then gone on with our daily lives. After all, nothing like that happens to people WE know. And yet...and yet, this time, it did.
I love the written word and as I sit here, I find myself struggling for the right words to say...but there are none. No words could sum up what we all feel for the Menora, Klein and Schrieber families. I look at the words in Sefer Iyov (Job) and I look at the words of Kinnot that we will say (hopefully not!) on Tisha B'Av and even THEIR words of pain and suffering seem to shed tears over THIS tragedy.
May Hashem send a Nechama to all the family and a refuah shlema to Netanel Yosef ben Simcha Sima.
HAMAKOM YENACHEM ETCHEM B'TOCH SH'AR AVELEI TZION VI'ROOSHALAYIM!