1 Iyar 5716 – 1956 7:12 PM. Chabad Village, Israel; Vocational School for Moroccan immigrant children. A class prepares for evening prayers.
Three terrorists appear in the doorway, spraying bullets in all directions. The young teacher moves quickly, pushing his students through the window. The terrorists escape into the orange groves. They leave five students and their teacher murdered.
The village mourns; the Chabad community worldwide mourns; all of Israel mourns.
In response, officials in the town want to close down the schools. All eyes turn to New York, awaiting the Rebbe’s word.
The Rebbe Responds:
“We can never understand such an event. But how we must respond is clear: now, we must grow and thrive. Through continued building we will find solace.”
In a move that mirrored the Rebbe’s approach to terrorism in general, he sent a group of 10 Yeshiva student emissaries to Israel, as his personal representatives.
Their mission: To revive and uplift the spirits of Israelis. The attack sparked a new era of growth for Chabad institutions and activities in Israel.
Throughout its modern history, in times of triumph and hardship, the people of Israel were comforted and encouraged by this man in Brooklyn who wouldn’t stop thinking about them, and reassuring them.
The Rebbe’s impetus turns mourning into growth.