There has been much talk about unity and unfortunately much talk about disunity. However, the hatchet must be buried and more than ever we need healing.
Healing–that is the elusive element which too often we never seem to properly achieve. The Shiva period has now ended for the three families and they will go back to their lives and we to ours.
The statements made on all sides of the spectrum will fade away and everyone will retreat back to their corner of the Jewish world and their lives will continue.
The question to ask ourselves, each and every one of us, is: if we really believe that an unprecedented unity was achieved during these last three weeks then what shall we do with it?
Where does it leave us now?
How can we channel it for the good of all us?
No one assumes that today we should wear a black hat, and tomorrow a Shtreimal and the next day a knitted yarmulke! However, perhaps one lesson we can take away is respect. The fact of the matter is that the three boys lived lives which for many of us were very different than the ones we live. They attended yeshivas where the dress code may have been different than the dress code of our own yeshivas.
Their lifestyles and hobbies may (or may not) have been different than the lifestyles and hobbies we embrace. And there is no reason we should change ours. However, when the kidnappings occurred, we realized they were Jewish boys and that is all that mattered, Their yarmulkes and the color of their shirts no longer mattered; all that mattered was that they were Jewish boys. And that feeling is precious.
We are entitled and privileged to hold onto to our personal or communal ways of dressing, speaking and learning. Whoever dresses yeshivish should be proud of their dress and a Chassid should and is proud of his mesorah.
However, these differences should never allow us to forget that no matter how different our dress and our hobbies and our music may be, at the end of the day we are in ‘this’ Galus together. Let us focus on those things that unite us as opposed to looking at those things that divide us.
Perhaps if you are a Modern Orthodox Jew, it would be an eye opening experience to spend a day in a Chareidi Yeshiva and experience the fire of Torah learning at its best.
Perhaps if you are Chareidi, you could one day daven at a Modern Orthodox Shul and realize there is serious and intense davening going on there as well.
Perhaps a non-Chasid could spend a few hours in a Chassidic neighborhood and appreciate the Yiddish being spoken and the sense of community.
Perhaps you can think of your own ideas.
However, remember the greater the commonality we can find between us, the greater the unity which can be forged among us.