This week marks the Sloshim, 30 days since the massacres of October 7. The Jewish laws of mourning focus first on the dead, on dignity from death to burial. The focus then turns to the needs of the close relatives of the deceased, with Shiva, the seven days of intense mourning, to the Sloshim, which—with the exception of the death of one’s parents—marks the end of the mourning period. However, even 30 days later, we as a nation find it hard to get past the mourning.
After the terrible internal fights that nearly tore apart the Israeli nation, this war has brought our people together as never before. It is as if a Divine voice rang out and said: “Enough! This far and no farther! There will be no civil war in Israel. I will not allow it.”
In the weeks ahead, Israel will be facing one of the hardest tests a nation ever has to face, and it isn’t what we might think. The test is not to stay strong under the threat of rockets fired at our population centers, nor of repelling vicious incursions from across our borders, nor even of standing against the hatred of the nations when we fight back. The war now facing the State of Israel poses a greater challenge, and that is to hold on to the high moral standards that have sustained us since Israel’s founding. We must ensure that we do not become the very thing that we are fighting against.