web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Judaism Stories
Weiss-072514

Just as the moon waxes, wanes and renews itself, so has the nation of Israel renewed itself through the millennia.

126_masei_web

Parshat Masei: Rabbi Fohrman addresses the age-old question, are we our brother’s keeper?

Hertzberg-072514

When Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Thus, by the end of the first week of August all the major powers of Europe were at war.

Winiarz-072514

The Talmud teaches that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred.

When taking any major step in life it is a good idea to carefully re-evaluate one’s past.

Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

Hallel On Purim?
“Its Reading Is Its Praise”
(Megillah 14a)

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

It is apparent from the Maharsha that he does not see galus as atoning for killing accidentally; otherwise, this Gemara would not bother him.

It was found to be a giant deer tick living in her head – with its claws in her scalp.

While daydreaming about finding the perfect job, I never expected to be rewarded in spades for my aforementioned experience.

We are all entrusted with the mission of protecting our fellow Jews

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

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.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: