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Jews all over the world celebrate Israel's Independence Day - even those who have no intention of ever coming on aliyah, and many of whom have never even visited Israel. "It's a kind of insurance policy" one overseas friend told me. "By supporting Israel financially and emotionally, I know that its sanctuary is available to me or my children or grandchildren should the need ever arise."
Yaakov Avinu received word that his brother Eisav was coming to greet him. He understood fully well that this was not to be a warm family reunion. Eisav came accompanied by a band of four hundred armed men, bent on revenge. The Torah says Yaakov was “very frightened,” so he prepared for war.
It was an ordinary day and Dovid (name changed) was preparing to catch the late afternoon EL AL flight to Eretz Yisrael. He had yahrzeit for his father and planned his trip so he’d arrive there just in time to join his brother at the kever. He parked his car in the area that facilitated a faster trip to JFK for his flight. Little did he know that he was being observed by a team of thieves who were “working” the Diamond District that day in order to rob the merchants of their goods.
At this time of the year, "Jewish eyes are smiling" as we look back to our Egyptian experience of 3300 years ago and the great salvation that HaShem had brought forth for us. But on this 10th of Nisan, corresponding to the general calendar of April 2, the eyes of all enlightened nations are on Egypt, but for different reasons. The Moslem Brotherhood political party in Egypt, that now controls the two houses of the Egyptian Parliament, is going to have their man as the next president of that country. This group is among the most radical Islamists in the world, and they have an unabashed, open, straightforward Islamic agenda. Not only will they turn Egyptian society back 300 years, their end game is to uproot the Jewish State.
Is Halakhic Judaism rational and rooted in reality, or is it a hypothetical construct unconducive to engaging the real world?
A friend of mine recently came back from visiting her son and his family in Israel. As a bunch of her friends joined her for coffee and an update – several of them also have children who made aliyah - she shared with us her frustration at not being able to communicate with her school-age grandchildren.
Rav Dov Lior is not only a Torah scholar; he is quintessential Jewish patriot, whose allegiance is pledged fully to God, Torah, the People and the Land. His courage in speaking the truth is undeniably tangible, without regard for any public controversy or dispute.
Nearly eighty-five years have passed since Sarah Aaronson shot herself in the head, putting an end to the torture her Turkish interrogators inflicted upon her for refusing to disclose information about her associates in the NILI, an anti-Turkish spying organization that supplied the British with intelligence.
This past week was Parshat Chayei Sarah and I had the good fortune of being in Chevron for Shabbat. I was in Israel for only three days (approximately 80 hours) and was asked many times, “You’ve come to Israel for such a short stay?” Let me explain.
I wasn’t sure if I should write something about the petira of Rebbetzin Kanievsky, z"tl. My first reaction was who am I to write about such a great person? How could I possibly describe who she was? She was so great that mere words cannot do her justice.
Our first matriarch’s original name, Sarai, meant “Princess to Her People.” When her name was changed to Sarah, its meaning took on a universal connotation: “Princess to Mankind.”