Klal Yisroel has lost some of our most saintly members to the the blood soaked arrows of Yishmael and swords of Eisav, YSh"V. These tzaddikim were people who voluntarily ventured far away from the homeland to enable so many other Jews to remain or become close.
In my years in the diamond business I knew many associates who would travel to Bombay (Mumbai), and though I never needed to travel there myself (thank G-d I was never successful enough for that) it helps me understand what a precious gift and sacrifice it is for young idealistic Jews to establish a base for Torah ,Tefillah, and Chessed in such a religiously barren environment. This was a couple who suffered so much in their personal lives and compensated for it by being moser nefesh - literally, לא עלינו - for all of us. Add to these, two Talmidei Chachamim who leave their wives and children to travel to bereft places to ensure that the food on our plates meet Halachic standards. And, no less, the other Jews who died because, even while in India, they kept to the behavior and places that identified them as Jews.
I am not worthy to say anything about these lofty souls and I do not need to . In this situation, there is no more befitting tribute and tefillah than that which is expressed in the אב הרחמים prayer that we recited yesterday. So many of us recite this and do not appreciate what we are saying. As such, I am printing an English translation of Av HaRachamim לעילוי נשמתם:
The Father of mercy who dwells on high in His great mercy will remember with
compassion the pious, upright and blameless the holy communities, who laid down
their lives for the sanctification of His name.
They were loved and pleasant in their lives and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles and stronger than lions to carry out the will of their Maker, and the desire of their steadfast God.
May our Lord remember them for good together with the other righteous of the world and may He redress the spilled blood of His servants as it is written in the Torah of Moses the man of God:
"O nations, make His people rejoicefor He will redress the blood of His servants He will retaliate against His enemies and appease His land and His people".
And through Your servants, the prophets it is written:
"Though I forgive, their bloodshed I shall not forgive When God dwells in Zion"
And in the Holy Writings it says:
"Why should the nations say, 'Where is their God?' "Let it be known among the nations in our sight that You avenge the spilled blood of Your servants.
And it says: "For He who exacts retribution for spilled blood remembers them He does not forget the cry of the humble".
And it says:"He will execute judgement among the corpse-filled nations crushing the rulers of the mighty land; from the brook by the wayside he will drink then he will hold his head high".
ה' ינקם דמם - תהא נפשם צרורות בצרור החיים