web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Our Gains, The Enemies’ Losses

Lessons-logo

Some 30 years ago a certain well-known rabbi in Manhattan came to Israel and brought much of his congregation with him, to a barren ridge where our forefathers and foremothers traveled to and from Jerusalem and Hebron. The rabbi and his followers left the ravages of assimilation and headed to the unknown. The rabbi swiftly gathered in Jews from all over the world and all over Israel to the cozy town of Efrat.

My son’s Efrat high school class recently returned from a weeklong trip to Poland. We met them at dawn at the Kotel. How appropriate to have gone during the month of Elul.

In order to be thoroughly understood, this is a story that must be rewound and fast-forwarded. We move back and forth between Biblical times, times of bitterness, exile, enslavement, times of the Kings – so many yesterdays. At the Kotel we are rewarded by a scene featuring a group of the proudest Jewish souls on the planet who, until this time, never really experienced anti-Semitism. This is a story about 16- and 17-year-old “caped crusaders” who wore huge Israeli flags draped around their shoulders at the death camps, the remains of shtetls, the memorials. They are not afraid to dance and cry in public. They have returned from what they describe as a cemetery the size of an entire country.

We rewind several days to watch them recite Kaddish along the train tracks, where the generations of their grandparents, people with the same names, once tread for the last time. And now fast-forward again to the free Jews dancing at the Kotel. From what are they free? From the threat of intermarriage and the burdens of being in the minority. They are free from having to look over their shoulders both to the past and the future and wondering what others might think. They are free to proudly wear the mantle of Heaven.

What is the antonym of “cowering”? At the Kotel, after a week of first-hand testimony of slave labor, brutality, murder, loss and ovens the powerful antidote is this: the Jewish melting pot, on Jewish land. Here is where the children of Manhattan congregants gather together with the children of Jews who feared Arab marauders, together with grandchildren of Jews who were slaves all over the world, Jews who wandered and prayed in all manners of exile – out of fear.

With their arms around each other’s shoulders, the boys dance in a giant circle, in the plaza in front of the Kotel. They sing a new song, one their teacher originated with the words, “Wherever we go, we are going to the Land of Israel.” At this tearfully joyful reunion, the parents are laughing and crying as well.

We ignore the piercing wails of the muezzin calling Muslim followers to prayer. This is the meaning of the words about the children returning to the borders: “v’shavu banim ligvulam.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Our Gains, The Enemies’ Losses”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-041715

Lincoln was not a perfect man. But he rose above his imperfections to do what he thought was right not matter the obstacles.

Arch of Titus

Adon Olam: An Erev Shabbat Musical Interlude Courtesy of David Herman

Daf-Yomi-logo

Oh My, It’s Copper!
‘…And One Who Is A Coppersmith’
(Kethubboth 77a)

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The omer sacrifice of loose barley flour was more fitting for animal consumption than human consumption and symbolizes the depths to which the Jewish slaves had sunk.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

When Chazal call not eating treif food a chok, that refers to how it functions.

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Kashrut reminds us that in the end, God is the arbiter of right and wrong.

In a cab with Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & Rav Elayshiv discussing if/when to say tefillas haderech

The successful student listens more than speaks out; wants his ideas critiqued, not just appreciated

Why would it not be sufficient to simply state lehoros from which we derive that in such a state one may not issue any psak?

What do we learn about overcoming loss from the argument between Moses and Aaron’s remaining 2 sons?

Each of the unique roles attributed to Moshe share the common theme that they require of and grant higher sanctity to the individual filling the role.

Because of the way the piece of my finger had been severed, the doctors at the hospital were not able to reattach it. They told me I’d have to see a specialist.

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

More Articles from Mindy Aber Barad
Lessons-logo

Some 30 years ago a certain well-known rabbi in Manhattan came to Israel and brought much of his congregation with him, to a barren ridge where our forefathers and foremothers traveled to and from Jerusalem and Hebron. The rabbi and his followers left the ravages of assimilation and headed to the unknown. The rabbi swiftly gathered in Jews from all over the world and all over Israel to the cozy town of Efrat.

It takes courage and guts for a well-known person in the Orthodox world to write a memoir, a personal account sharing chapters of her life, which include how she became frum. On May 11 in New York, Leah Kotkes, a beloved writer among her readers, will release her first book, a candid, friendly, page-turner: The Map Seeker: One Woman’s Quest.

It takes courage and guts for a well-known person in the Orthodox world to write a memoir, a personal account sharing chapters of her life, which include how she became frum. On May 11 in New York, Leah Kotkes, a beloved writer among her readers, will release her first book, a candid, friendly, page-turner: The Map Seeker: One Woman’s Quest.

Things I’ve done in Efrat that I would never do in Jerusalem:

On June 27, 2001, a single mother and her son landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel for a two-week vacation. The plan was that she would go to a seminary and he would go to day camp. Neither of them knew a soul in Israel, nor did they know any Hebrew and next to nothing about Judaism.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/our-gains-the-enemies-losses/2012/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: