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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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Itamar: A Painful And Powerful Wake-Up Call


We must teach the leaders of the world that the divine phenomenon of Jewish independence in the Land of Israel is not a temporary episode in the Middle East. The State of Israel and its miraculous advancements in all fields – medicine, economics, technology and especially the great revival of Torah scholarship and a life highlighted by Jewish values – prove that Israel is the most stable, secure and permanent entity in the Middle East.

All these truths have come to the forefront in light of the slaughter in Itamar. Our people stand upright and will not yield under even the most vicious circumstances. The modern Zionist pioneers, imbued with the strength of faith, will continue to carry the Zionist torch, recognizing this as a divine process that will determine the destiny of the Jewish people. Only a government inspired by the spirit of such people will receive the confidence, loyalty and trust of its Jewish citizens.

From Megillat Esther we learn that one lone Jew who does not bow to the wicked enemy holds the power to eradicate the evil decree. Like Mordechai, a Jew filled with divine spirit and Torah values can encourage and inspire an entire nation to nobly fight for its right to exist. How much more so if you have a land of thousands of Mordechais.

Rabbi Eliezer Waldman is rosh yeshivaof Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba.

About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer Waldman is rosh yeshivaof Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba.


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Early this past Shabbat morning we heard from military sources that a family had been brutally slaughtered in Itamar, a settlement near Shechem. Since my niece lives there with six children, we were extremely worried even though we realized there were many families that fit the description.

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Just a few weeks ago we celebrated the anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria in the Six-Day War of 1967.

During the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot we are commanded to count every day and make a daily blessing. This mitzvah of counting the Omer illustrates the process of advancing up the ladder of freedom which began by God redeeming us from Egypt and came to its culmination at Mount Sinai where the Torah was given.

Yesterday I made an extraordinary and moving shiva visit at the home of the Netanel family, whose son Yonatan was killed last week in Gaza. Unfortunately, he and two other soldiers died when an Israeli tank mistakenly opened fire on a house captured by Israeli soldiers. His father, Rabbi Amos Netanel, was a student at our yeshiva in Kiryat Arba for several years.

I am still severely shocked in the aftermath of the heinous massacre that took place in Mumbai last week. Despicable Muslim terrorists carried out a well-planned, deadly assault on civilian targets, killing hundreds of innocent people.

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As Condoleezza Rice began orchestrating plans for the Annapolis Conference, which included extending invitations to governments notorious for their evil intentions, it was easy to guess what the message would be. She invited Middle Eastern Islamic participants to join the Palestinian Authority, whose terrorist policies are dedicated to wiping the State of Israel off the map.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/itamar-a-painful-and-powerful-wake-up-call/2011/03/16/

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