Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
Seven-year-old Shoshana ran from the kitchen, the glass of orange juice shaking wildly as big globs of the liquid splashed on the floor. Through the living room she ran, and then made her way up the stairs to her older brother’s bedroom.
“Yonatan! Quick. Listen. I hear it again!”
The 18-year-old scooped his younger sister in his strong arms and quickly walked to the open window. The blue-and-white flag hanging from a branch on the apple tree fluttered in the early evening breeze as the setting sun colored the skies a fiery red. Far above, a majestic eagle, his wings spread wide, soared across the valley, his eyes seeking a passing prey. Serenity reigned supreme as the siblings stood still, eyes searching the hills, ears alert for the sound Shoshana said she’d been hearing.
“I hear it toward nightfall, when the sun begins to set.”
Yonatan smiled and shushed her to be still. They listened. And then…
“There! You hear it?” she yelled excitedly.
Yonatan smiled. “Yes, Shoshana, I hear it.”
The sorrowful tune was unmistakable; someone was playing taps in a slow yet steady tune. So sad. So haunting.
“What is it, Yonatan?” the little girl whispered.
“Yes. Taps. It’s the melody that signals an end. A farewell. It puts things to rest, buries the past. A tune that signals finality.”
The little girl looked confused.
“Yonatan, I don’t understand a word you are saying!”
“Here. Sit here on my bed and I’ll explain. Whenever there is a war, soldiers fight gallantly against the enemy. They do all they can to prevent the enemy from succeeding. The enemy’s soldiers fight for their country’s cause. Soldiers on both sides get hurt. Some pay the ultimate price in defense of their nation – the ones who do not return.”
“You mean like Uncle Chaim?”
“Yes. Just like Uncle Chaim…who didn’t return.”
Her big brown eyes widened with sudden understanding. She placed her head against her brother’s shoulder.
“And those who don’t return are laid to rest. The words of Kaddish are the last things said on the fresh grave. In other nations, when a soldier’s coffin is lowered into the ground, taps are played by a lone bugle boy. The haunting, somber melody signals a closure, an end.”
“I think I understand. But…why is someone playing that melody here? Who died?”
“An idea died, Shosh, an idea.”
“An idea? What do you mean?”
“Not so many years ago, Jews throughout the world experienced a horrible calamity. Six million of us – men, women and children – were murdered by the Nazis…”
“You mean like Mommy’s grandparents?”
“Yes. Just like them. And the remnants, the survivors of that horrible Holocaust established a land of refuge. A place they could all their own. The State of Israel rose from the ashes that engulfed world Jewry. There were many debates and arguments (they still go on) as to whether they should have established the state or not.”
“Because the state was not established according to the Torah. But that’s a discussion for another time. The fact is that millions of Jews came to these shores, were welcomed, and reestablished and rebuilt their shattered lives. The Arabs tried, and are still trying, to destroy Israel. But Hashem never abandons His children, even if they betray Him. For 56 years, unrelentingly, the Jews here fought to survive. ‘Never Again!’ they vowed. Never again would Jews be persecuted, expelled, slaughtered, the way they were in the past. But the world, never very fond of living Jews, continues to tighten the noose meant to strangle the State of Israel.”
About the Author: Isaac Kohn is senior vice president of Prime Care Consultants, a division of Target Care Holdings LTD.
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I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.
Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”
Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.
We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.
Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty
While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.
n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.
The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier
The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.
I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.
Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.
The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.
Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.
The thug knew exactly what you are and he went after you anyway, Mr. Anteby.
Last month United Torah Jewry MKs heckled a speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu and then walked out of the room. As the prime minister read out the names of the ministers in his new government, UTJ MK Yisrael Eichler shouted, “Jews don’t ban Jews” from the Knesset. (The reference was to demands by the Yesh Atid Party that haredi parties be excluded from Netanyahu’s new coalition.)
In a recent speech, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested that Israel consider unilaterally disengaging from Judea and Samaria.
“If it is impossible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians,” he said, “we should consider an interim arrangement, or even a unilateral disengagement.”
There are so many events about which one ought to write. So much is happening on a daily and even an hourly basis. Slaughter in Norway, unrelenting turmoil in the Middle East, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, revolutions and the threat of a nuclear apocalypse emanating from the maniacal regime in Iran.
While in Israel week before last, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke out of two sides of his mouth. (No real surprise there. The Obama administration has become famous for such indecisive doubletalk.)
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