Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
We in Israel need Nefesh B’Nefesh. Every time this organization brings in another planeload of olim, the welcome is so uplifting, the arrival is so exciting, the emotional high is so stimulating, that several old-timers go to the airport ceremonies just to be reminded how important American and Canadian aliyah is. They also witness the fantastic job of cutting through the usual Israeli red tape that Nefesh B’Nefesh has accomplished.
Tony Gelbart and Rabbi Fass are examples of how one or two people can create amazing changes in society. Their efforts to bring American and Canadian Jews to Israel have been very successful and they have also created a small revolution in several Israeli government offices. Thanks in part to the demands of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Israeli government offices are planning to reduce bureaucracy and make their operations more efficient, thereby making life a little more comfortable for all Israelis.
The latest flight had over 250 new immigrants. As they left the plane, some parents gathered their children and quietly recited the “Shehecheyanu” prayer: “Thank You G-d for letting me live to see this day.” Others knelt down to kiss the oil-stained tarmac as they realized that they had succeeded in becoming new citizens of the Land of Israel. As on the previous flight, some 40 young singles had come to settle in Israel to bring their spirit, new ideas and strength to our homeland. Several greeters sounded a welcome blast on the Shofar reminding us that this arrival was a mitzvah that will be remembered by Hashem during the High Holy Days that will soon be here. The remainder just sang and cheered with joy to welcome the new Olim with “Shalom Aleichem.”
All along the tarmac, from the plane to the huge hanger used by Nefesh B’Nefesh for the welcoming ceremonies, Israeli soldiers stood with little Israeli flags to welcome the olim home and to help them and escort them to the hanger. It was a heart-warming sight that brought big smiles to the faces of the olim and especially to the children.
We had gathered by 7:00 in the morning for the arrival ceremonies. Some people did not even have a chance to daven, but decided to come anyway, and they davened while waiting for the plane to land. A young doctor, who remembered that I had been the one to greet him when his family made aliyah, came to liven up the event with his pump and balloons and kept the little children smiling. He has put on similar shows in Israeli hospitals because he believes that joy and laughter helps heal many ailments.
In the past, olim fresh off the plane after 11 sleepless hours would be asked to sit through two hours of welcoming speeches. Nefesh B’Nefesh has streamlined the welcome to a perfect blend of speeches and entertainment and the olim appreciated it.
Three of the families came to live in Hashmonaim: the Offenbach family, the Mark family and the Feldman family. One of the cutest families was the Felstein family with each member of the family wearing a family aliyah portrait tee shirt.
The olim will never forget this day in their lives when they finally came home. When are you coming home?
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The answer is an emphatic no.
The meaning of “God’s watch” here is not entirely clear.
Don’t Israelis and Arab Palestinians deserve more than this? Is it not time to stop the insanity?
At age 104, my mother was still concerned about her relationship with Hashem.
Obama’s incompetence, the way his naive worldview and credulity have made a fool of him, are equally frightening
“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”
You’ve discovered our little secret!
Klein’s challenger has demonstrated a propensity to unleash poisonous vitriol, even to other Zionists
President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.
Welcome the book of Leviticus!
If the nationalist Knesset members don’t provide the answer, the Arab MKs will do so in their place.
International Agunah Day falls annually on Ta’anis Esther, this year on March 13.
Yeshiva University Museum recently hosted an exhibit titled “Threshold to the Sacred.”
Even a foxhole Yid has to admit that antisemitism is on the upswing.
It really is time for painful sacrifices for peace. No one wants his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to suffer the pangs of war and strife. It is time to end the strife and make peace in the Middle East.
Israel is a country that understands security concerns. Many civil rights have been sacrificed in the name of security and Israelis are used to being checked every time they enter a shopping center, a large store or any public building. Americans recently learned that they, too, are subject to many checks on their most private activities.
The Israeli Parliament is usually controlled by a coalition of different political parties because no one party receives enough votes to have a majority. Unlike in the U.S., where there are two major political parties and one of the two political parties commands a majority of the seats in the Senate and/or in the House, in Israel the government is composed of many, many small political parties, each pushing its own agenda.
The title above is a lovely thought. Unfortunately, there are too many times when Israeli Orthodox Jews behave in very divisive ways. I have mentioned, on occasion, that it would most probably bring the Mashiach if Orthodox Jews in Israel were ever to unite. We are so divided politically that Sephardi Jews will not support Ashkenazi Jews and Ultra-Orthodox Jews will not work with the Modern Orthodox or with the Zionist Orthodox.
Israel recently commemorated Memorial Day in memory of its fallen heroes. Sadness permeates the day as we remember the sons, daughters and parents who have sacrificed their lives so that the Jewish Nation can continue to exist.
The title of this article is the supposed motto of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, but for Americans living in Israel it means, literally, vote twice. Both Israel and America are holding important elections and, hopefully, most Orthodox Jews will be voting. The United States will be holding its regular four-year elections for president and many other offices, and Israel will be voting for an entire “new” Parliament (Knesset).
We left Reno, Nevada, early Sunday morning and decided to take the scenic route to Salt Lake City, rather than travel by super highway, but Route 50 turned out to be not very scenic as we crossed Nevada and Utah. We stopped at a roadside table at noon, where the men heated and ate LaBriute meals while the women enjoyed their cottage cheese, peanut butter sandwiches, fruit and vegetables. We have followed this pattern of meals ever since the women decided not to eat the packaged meals.
San Francisco is a lovely city and we enjoyed its many tourist venues. The famous Lombard Street, known as “The Crookedest Street in the World,” was beautiful, with its floral decorations. We shopped at Pier 39, and we bought matching San Francisco jackets. We really needed them since it was cold in San Francisco. Barbara added to her magnet collection, which contains magnets from dozens of countries around the world that we have toured. She’d never been in a store that sold thousands of magnets and she just loved looking at all the magnets on the walls.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/a-planeload-of-joy/2004/09/08/
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