click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

If You Don't Cry, Who Will?

If You Don't Cry, Who Will?

Chilling words from Chezi Goldberg z"l, a 42-year-old father of seven, killed in the recent Jerusalem bus bombing.


Chezi Goldberg z"l
Chezi Goldberg z"l, a 42-year-old father of seven originally from Toronto, was killed in the Jerusalem bus bombing on January 29, 2004. Two years earlier, he wrote these chilling words. If we don't cry, who will?

Read a tribute to Chezi Goldberg

7:30 a.m. Israel time, Sunday December 2, 2001. Eight Hours after the triple-terror attack on Jerusalem's popular Ben Yehudah pedestrian mall.

He walked into shul. I nodded my acknowledgement like I always do. He made some strange gesture, which I couldn't understand. I went on with the business of the prayer service.

A few minutes later, he walked over to me and said, "Didn't you hear?"

"Hear about what?"

"Didn't you HEAR?"

I understood that he was talking about last night's terror attack on Ben Yehudah Mall.

I assumed that he obviously intended that someone we knew was hurt or killed.

"About who?"

He looked at me as if I had landed from another planet. "About who? About everyone who was attacked last night."

I nodded, "Yes, I heard."

"Then why aren't you crying?"

He was right. Why wasn't I crying?
His words shot through me like a spear piercing my heart. Our Sages teach that "words that come from the heart enter the heart." He was right. Why wasn't I crying?

I could not answer. I had nothing to say.

He pointed around the shul. "Why aren't all my friends crying?"

I could not answer. I had nothing to say.

"Shouldn't we all be crying?"

He was right. What has happened to all of us? -- myself included. We have turned to stone. Some would call it numbness. Some would call it collective national shock. Some would say that we all have suffered never-ending trauma and it has affected our senses.

The excuses are worthless. All the reasons in the world don't justify our distance from the pain that is burning in our midst.

When an attack happens, in the heat of the moment, we frantically check to see if someone we know has been hurt or killed. And then, if we find out that "our friends and family are safe," we breathe a deep sigh of relief, grunt and grumble about the latest tragic event and then, continue with our robotic motions and go on with our lives.

We have not lost our minds, my friends. We have lost our hearts.

And that is why we keep on losing our lives.


When I left the shul, my friend said to me with tears dripping from his bloodshot eyes, "I heard that the Torah teaches that for every tear that drops from our eyes, another drop of blood is saved."

We are living in a time of absolute madness. And yet, we detach ourselves and keep running on automatic in our daily lives.

Last night, 10 people were killed and nearly 200 were injured. Even MSNBC referred to the triple terror attack as a "slaughter."

And still, we are not crying.

If we don't cry about what is happening around us, who will?

Perhaps my friends, we are foolish to believe that the nations of the world should be upset about the continuous murder and slaughter of Jews -- if we ourselves are not crying about it. Am I not my brother's keeper?

The most effective way for us to stop the carnage in our midst is to wake up and to react to it from our hearts. How can we demand that God stop the tragedy, when most of us react like robots when tragedy strikes?

If we don't cry about what is happening around us, who will?

If you don't cry about what is happening around us, who will?

If I don't cry about what is happening to us, who will?

Maybe our salvation from this horrific mess will come only after we tune into our emotions and cry and scream about it.


My friend walked into shul this morning and from the looks on his friends' faces, he could not tell that they had heard what had happened on Ben Yehudah Mall.

When our enemies pound us and we fail to react because we no longer feel the pain, we are truly in a precarious position in the battle to survive.

I know a woman who has no sensitivity in her fingers. When she approaches fire, she doesn't feel the pain. That puts her in a dangerous position because she might be getting burnt and not know it, because her senses don't feel it.

When we fail to react because we no longer feel the pain, we are in a precarious position to survive.
If we are being hurt and we don't feel it, then we are in a very risky position. A devastating 3-pronged suicide attack on Jerusalem's most popular thoroughfare should evoke a cry of pain and suffering from all of us, should it not? Unless of course, we have lost our senses.

And if we have lost our senses, then what hope is there?

I turn on the news to hear of more carnage in Haifa. Sixteen dead. Sixteen of my brothers and sisters.

King Solomon said, "There is a time for everything." Now is the time for crying.

May God protect each and every one of us from our enemies so that we will not have to cry in the future.

The Goldberg Family needs your support.

** In Israel, for Shekel donations or US Dollar Donations drawn on an Israeli bank send checks to:

Avraham Guttmann
27 Noam Elimelech
Beitar Illit 99879

Checks are to be made payable to: Yad Eliezer

** In US, for US Dollars drawn on a US Bank, send checks to:

The Young Israel Charities Benevolent Fund
National Council of Young Israel
3 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011.

Donations should be CLEARLY marked on the front of the checks "Goldberg family - Beitar" in order to be processed properly for the family.

** In Canada, for Canadian Dollar cheques, send cheques to:

Bnai Brith Foundation-Goldberg Family Trust Fund
15 Hove Street,
North York, ON M3H 4Y8

Cheques should be CLEARLY marked Pay to the Order of: "Bnai Brith Foundation-Goldberg Family Trust Fund" in order to be processed properly for the family.

For more information, please email:

Read a tribute to Chezi Goldberg

January 31, 2004

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 91

(91) S.M., September 25, 2007 9:17 PM

I try!!

Ever since my mother and father became sick when I was four, I cry about almost nothing, because I am the oldest, and my mood would set the mood of the whole house. Now I am sixteen, and I find myself more prone to this outpour of emotion called crying, maybe because of the increasingly desparate situation for our people--I hope every tear that I and we (Yisroel) cry will fill the "cup of tears" in Shamayim and bring Moshiach...b'mheira b'yameinu.

(90) Brad, April 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Almost five years later

I posted this article to my website almost 5 years ago, 3 years before the author himself was killed in a terrorist attack. Yesterday 9 people were murdered at a pedestrian mall in Tel Aviv, and already people -- Jewish people -- seem to have forgotten. Reading this article again today, four and a half years after it was written, made me want to cry. We need to stop to mourn, even if it's just for a moment or two.

(89) chana Sharfstein, March 17, 2005 12:00 AM

everyone should read that article- Jews and non-Jews

I have just been reading abot the poverty in Israel and this article about the horror of Ben Yehuda and the article about the wedding in Jerusalem. My face is wet from tears. I am SO
PROUD of my brethren in Israel. It's Adar- May we all have a happy Purim and bright days ahead

(88) andrea levy, March 6, 2004 12:00 AM

i just made the connection

i just made the connection in my mind between the article, and mr. goldberg. bitachon is a weird thing. in all the reports, it never occurred to me, until just now when i saw his name as chezi. i cried when i read the original article and i cried when i heard about the bombing that took his life too. i am praying for peace.

(87) Anonymous, March 4, 2004 12:00 AM

Yechezkel, I miss you!!!!!!!!!
You always had the brightest things to say and wrote the best articles, and now you're gone. It's funny, when I originally read this article a couple of years ago, I was like "Yeah, very nice... but I still can't feel the pain." However, since your death, I can't stop feeling it. Now it hit home.

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment