It has been a tense week in Israel – but it is often such times that bring out the best of our special Am Yisrael. You could actually feel the Jewish unity in the air, hear it on the radio, see it wherever you went and fill your heart and soul with it!
Our students wanted to get involved from the first moment our country was threatened, and they came up with creative ways to join the national effort: Some dedicated their night off to collect tzedaka money from passersby at the entrance to the Malcha Mall [it's hard to say no to a smiling young woman with a big Israeli flag…] – the money was given to needy families in the southern development town of Ofakim. Others collected goodies and toiletries which were immediately sent to soldiers at the southern gathering areas. Some 10 students helped out at the Gov't National Media Bureau, fighting a cyber-war by uploading English news excerpts, eye-witness accounts from the South and posting thousands of Twitter and Facebook posts and pictures to show the true story. And all took their Torah learning and Tefillot [and Tehillim!] to the next level!
We joined the massive tefillah at the Kotel on Sunday, where many thousands of people cried and pleaded that HaShem saves us from this most recent burst of anti-Semitism. Apparently it worked – our enemies fired over 1500 rockets. Statistically that should result with dozens or even hundreds of casualties. We lost "only" 6 people – which is 6 too many but it's nonetheless an obvious miracle.
We did our best to keep to Yeud's solid routine of Torah and Sherut Leumi, and to our extra-curricular activities such as our weekly educational siyur and our weekly guest speaker, despite the 2 sirens we experienced in Jerusalem, which sent us to the bomb shelter and shook us up emotionally. I want to praise your daughters for being so mature and balanced and for not allowing the situation to blow out of proportions. Your daughters evidently did a very good job raising parents, and I want to thank you as well for understanding and supporting us throughout this time.
While we all wish that a once-and-for-all solution is found for the hostilities arising from Gaza, we are apparently "not there yet". Many people are ambivalent about this cease-fire, but at least we get to push-off the tension till the next round. So the tension subsided just as fast as it erupted, as is often the case in our Holy Land of Israel. Back to normal it is then – the soldiers were sent back home and all alerts are off.
I'm attaching a few pictures of your sweet smiling daughters from various events this past two weeks – the visit to the Underground Prisoners Museum, the Rosh-Chodesh Kislev party, the tefillah at the Kotel and the tour to the Tomb of Shmuel HaNavi [whom King David compares to Moshe and Aharon together – as he was both a Prophet and a Social Leader].
Next week our weekly tour takes us to Mt Scopus Hebrew University campus with its stunning shul overlooking the TempleMount and the guest speaker is Rabbi Yechiel Mor who will give the group some insights to the world of Chassidut. We are already in "Chanuka Mode" – learning the relevant Halachot and putting an emphasis on Jewish Heroism throughout the ages.