We went to the Zimbalist shiva house last Wednesday night. As expected, because of the nature of Eli Mo HY”D’s passing, the house was continuously full throughout the week. People from all walks of life, friends, relatives and many many strangers, came to offer condolences.

Eli Mo Zimbalist, Hyd

Our youngest son, Moshe, who is in year one of the hesder program at KBY, came home to go with us. Like all the kids in the shul, he knew Eli Mo personally, and was definitely impacted by his passing. He also has a classmate in KBY whose older brother was also killed in the armored vehicle last week and whose family also sat shiva – he came to us on Wednesday so he could visit his friend on Thursday with other boys from KBY.


While we were at the Shiva House, a soldier was sitting front and center, talking with Eli Mo’s parents, Simmy and Sarah. He told them that he had been at another of the soldier’s shiva’s and in that home they showed him a few pages from a sefer that had been found in the vehicle.


I will preface this by saying that I am not a big heebee jeebee guy. I find it hard to say that we can look backwards and see that X or Y is a sign to us of something, because it might also NOT be a sign. But, in this case, being that these are some of the few things that seem to have survived the explosion, there might be a message for us, and possibly a comfort to the families (which, I believe, is what this soldier was trying to offer).


The first words on the page, he related, were (and I am translating), “There are souls that come to this world for the sole purpose of fixing a specific problem; once that issue is fixed, these souls immediately leave this world and return to their place in Gan Eden. In the majority, upon the passing of these souls, those people who knew them feel that these were incredibly special people – without Evil Inclination, pleasant and pure and the like. Therefore, do not be bewildered when you see such young men, who are clean of sin and were incredibly good – die a sudden death. This is a direct result of the completion of the task that they came to fix.”


Another page discusses how everything that happens for the good. No matter what we might think.


The next day, I got a message from Moshe.

He had been menachem avel for his friend’s family. And while he was there, they mentioned that they are in possession of some pages of a sefer that had apparently survived the blast. And they showed them to the boys.

The sefer was apparently not from their son/brother’s belongings. But they believed that they had identified the proper family and were sending them the pages.


Moshe told them that he had already heard the story and asked if they could send him pictures, which they did later that evening. I in turn, sent them to Simmy Zimbalist, so that he could see them.


I am neither an official reporter or a representative of any of the families. I have no way to verify what may or may not have been found in the armored vehicle. I have no way to confirm the veracity of the story. I know that I heard it myself on Wednesday and that Moshe heard it on Thursday and actually saw the pages.


Were these really the only pages? Did they come for sure from the vehicle? I don’t know. I see no reason for anyone to have made it up.


As I mentioned above, I find the whole idea of signs and omens to be difficult to comprehend and relate to. Especially when we are looking back with hindsight, which is always 20/20. However, it’s hard to look at these burned pages, these remainders that were left behind and not think that someone is trying to offer us all some measure of comfort.


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