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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Bet El’

Hated Settlers Receive Leftist Foes with Water and Cookies

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Activists from the anti-settlement, left-wing party Meretz arrived Tuesday afternoon at the Ulapana Hill neighborhood of Bet El, where police blocked their bus at the entrance to the town.

The activists attempted to push through, and after some Knesset members called police headquarters and made a commitment to maintain the public order, Judea and Samaria District Commander Amos Jacob permitted them to enter the neighborhood for ten minutes.

After being told that the activists were looking to stop at a Palestinian store to buy water, residents of the neighborhood welcomed their guests with cold water and cookies.

We’re All Feiglinists, Especially Feiglin

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

On Saturday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak mocked two Likud ministers who criticized his plan to proceed with the evacuation and demolition of Ulpana Hill. His office released a statement saying that Ministers “Katz and Ya’alon must have contracted a severe case of ‘Feiglinism,’” adding, “We hope that, for the sake of the public and its elected representatives in the Knesset, it will turn out that this ‘Feiglinism’ isn’t contagious.”

Call the CDC, put the country on lockdown, it appears that at least in the area immediately surrounding the Ulpana Hill neighborhood, everybody has caught a very serious case of the Feiglinism.

One after another, Likud MKs who got up from the podium to speak to the very large crowd of members of the Likud Central Committee who were assembled to show solidarity with the local residents, paid homage to the new term and congratulated Moshe Feiglin, who was sitting right there by the same dais, on his tenacity in upholding the principles of Feiglinism.

JewishPress.com cornered Moshe Feiglin just before the beginning of the meeting and demanded to know his own definition of Feiglinism.

“Loyalty to the Land of Israel,” he answered without flinching. “If someone loyal to Eretz Israel is being accused of Feiglinism, then, thank God, I’ve been blessed with this honor.”

Then we asked what he thought the pragmatic options were for the locals. He became very serious, even grim, instantaneously.

“Look, I’m from the Likud,” he began. “We’re making every effort to forge a united front within the Likud against this insane plan to demolish a settlement in Eretz Israel. Regarding what to local residents will do – you should ask them. I’ve reiterated in several articles that it is prohibited to leave this place.”

We asked if he thought this time around Prime Minister Netanyahu, whom Feiglin had challenged several times for the party leadership, was on the side of the angels.

“I don’t know, I hope very much that he will be,” said Feiglin.

Rescue Us From The Valley Of Tears

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Our forefather Yaakov is considered to have been the patriarch who endured the most suffering. Although our rabbis look to the binding of Yitzchak and the trial of Avraham as the epitome of suffering in the form of self-sacrifice, Yaakov is our greatest teacher in the difficult subject of dealing with life’s hardships.

His suffering began when, as a young man, he had to run away from his parents’ house. He fled from the treacherous Eisav into the clutches of the deceitful and poisonous Lavan. His trials continued after leaving Lavan’s domain: his famous showdown with Eisav and his army of 400 men; the violation of Dinah by Schechem; the death of his mother Rivkah at night without proper burial; the passing of Rachel and her burial on a roadside; and finally the “death” of Yosef, which was actually his abduction and slavery in Egypt.

In Parshat Vayishlach, after the death of Rivkah, Yaakov created a paradigm for dealing with future sadness in the nation of Israel.

He cried deeply and mourned the loss of his mother. It was the first tragic death in the family of the patriarchs. Yaakov’s pain is memorialized by his naming of a city after the tree where his crying took place – Alon Bachut, the tree of tears. Rav Saadia Gaon and others translate the city’s name as the plain of tears.

In the Lecha Dodi prayer we sing Friday night during Kabbalat Shabbat, we ask God to save us from Emek Habacha, the Valley of Tears, for we have been dwelling there for too long. What started as Yaakov’s flat plain of tears outside the city of Bet El, after thousands of years and the copious tears shed by the Jewish nation over that time period, became the valley of tears.

Someone who hears tragic news, like in Parshat Vayeishev where Yaakov believes that his dear son Yosef was torn apart by wild animals, is swept away and immersed into the valley of tears.

We were blessed with a beautiful child who we presumed was healthy until the age of eight months. And then Noah ascended to heaven 10 years ago on 21 Kislev, after living four years and one day in this world. So we identify with Yaakov’s situation after he was led to believe that Yosef was no longer.

That may be why it says in Vayeishev that Yaakov could not be comforted from the sadness he felt in losing Yosef for 22 years, despite his great stature as one of our eternal role models. Yaakov filled the plain of tears, originally carved out with sadness for the loss of his mother, with 22 years of his deep, heartfelt tears for Yosef’s disappearance.

The tears of all our generations – from Yaakov to the Jews in the Holocaust, and those in between – are seemingly endless. And our tears cried over our dear Noah trickled down into the valley as well. We felt trapped in the valley for many years. But little by little, God helped us escape. We cannot believe that now, 10 years after Noah’s passing, we are able to look back and appreciate Him for all that we went through – but we have and we do.

You climb to the top of the valley and move away, and you leave it in hindsight. But it is always there, and the tears you cried are eternal. If you are fortunate, you are lifted high above and look at it from God’s infinite perspective.

Once you have been to the valley, you relate more deeply to those that have also been there. You speak to them without speaking. And just mentioning the valley unites you in a bonding of your souls. The tears you cried flowed into the river that lies within the valley, and your tears merge with theirs. You want to ease their sadness, but cannot. And once you have left the valley behind, you can still return in an instant. Not to cry again, but to behold the tears you once cried. Your tears that were cried once will never dry.

Sad though your return is to the valley, it is part of what makes you alive. Without your connection to it, you have no compass. You never realized it, but from the point of your sadness and forward, the valley has become your guide. Wherever you find yourself in life, you always measure yourself by how far you have come since leaving the valley. The valley may be a real entity, as we see from the tree of tears that Yaakov named. But it also resides in a part of us that we didn’t know existed. We may not want to know it’s there, and can’t believe it’s there – but it is.

We know our tears have not been shed in vain. Despite the sadness we felt from Noah’s passing, the joy of knowing that Hashem gave us this precious gift far exceeds the sorrow. Although no one would ever ask for this type of gift, once it has been given to you, you realize that you have witnessed the ultimate truth.

May we all be zocheh to the coming of Moshiach, and have all of our holy neshamot return to us in happiness – bimheirah b’yameinu, amen.

To contribute to the foundation we created in Noah Raphael’s memory to help children facing serious illness, please send a tax-deductible check to Noah’s Spark Foundation, c/o Jarashow, 5 South Myrtle Ave., Spring Valley, NY 10977.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/rescue-us-from-the-valley-of-tears/2010/01/27/

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