Photo Credit: Courtesy
Pictured here are the broken shards and the mosaic that Sharon Negri created.

In Israel, people walking in the street today will be smiling to themselves and no one will ask why.

We woke up last Monday, to this news: Two hostages have been released. Fernando Marman and Louis Har, two brothers-in-law who were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, were rescued from captivity this week. They are now at the Sheba Medical Center receiving medical treatment and meeting their families. Baruch Hashem.


All this happened during a complex and courageous military operation from combined forces. A debt of enormous thanks is owed to numerous anonymous heroes. In the future, we will hear details of what transpired during this brave mission, and generations will grow up hearing this story.

“When Adar begins, joy increases.” Indeed, Adar has just begun. This is a month when two words taken from Megillat Esther are heard over and over again: “Venahafoch hu – everything flips.” They are a reminder that everything can suddenly be turned upside down – and turn out for the best. The Jews of ancient Persia who were threatened with annihilation were saved and the evil Haman was hung. Let this be the fate of all our enemies.

And this is what Ditza Or, mother of hostage Avinatan, asks from us: Imagine that everything will turn out well, believe in goodness, and visualize scripts with happy endings.

On Motzei Shabbat, a gathering of hostage family members sang loudly, again and again, words in the Havdalah ceremony that are taken from the end of Megillah Esther, when everything turned out for the best: “For the Jews there was light and joy, gladness and honor – so let it be with us!” Amen and soon.

Fernando and Louis, welcome home. Last night you went from the darkest place to the brightest, most radiant place on earth.


Gluing The Broken Pieces Back Together

Sharon Negri, mother of Neriya Negri, who fell in battle on Simchat Torah, sent me the two pictures below and wrote as follows:

“Several days ago, I attended a mosaic workshop. In order to create a mosaic, it is first necessary to shatter whole tiles into pieces with a hammer.

I came to the workshop in a highly emotional state and released all my pain in breaking the tiles. And then, while shattering the tiles, and afterwards in gluing the pieces together, I felt how deeply significant and healing it was to have found a workshop like this following the loss of my Neriya.

My reality was shattered and I am gathering up the pieces. But I am not just gathering them up; I am making a new creation out of them. I really and truly believe that this is what is demanded from me. It’s a divine demand and also a demand from myself: to take my broken heart, my broken reality, and create life. A new and different life, but life.

If they would show us a woman breaking tiles with a hammer and tell us that she is creating something, we would raise an eyebrow. After all, she is destroying, not creating. But without seeing the continuation of the story, how she glues the broken pieces back together, we would only see destruction.

I truly believe that this is what all of us are going through together at this time. The shattering has been so great that we might think that everything has been destroyed. But we must create something new, with G-d’s help, out of the broken pieces. Our story will continue.”


Bullet Holes In The Wall And Letters Floating In The Air

Ever since October 7, the police station in Sderot has been identified solely with the horrible tragedy that occurred there. But now a powerful work of art waits for whoever visits. Elyasaf Miara, the one who created the painting pictured, explained it to me as follows:

Elyasaf Miara’s painting.

“The entire police station was destroyed. Everything was full of bullet holes but one wall remained. I was given the opportunity to tell the story of what happened on this wall.

I began with a painting of the destroyed structure and opposite it a tank. We see here the stark contrast of a battlefield tank entering a tranquil city.

But the main subject is the open Torah scroll that represents the festival of Simchat Torah. 8 police officers fell in the police station as well as 2 fighters who came to help. 10 souls. A minyan. I wanted to make 10 holes in the Torah scroll, but then I saw 10 real bullet holes in the wall and painted the Torah scroll around them.

It was difficult for me to paint a shot-up Torah scroll, with bullet holes, but this is, in a sense, what happened and I had to convey it in the painting. Everything happened on a day when the Torah is joyful and we are joyful too, and this joyousness is what the enemy wanted to attack.

Above the Torah scroll, Hebrew letters are floating in the air. I actually wept when I painted the letters of the aleph-bet from which all the names of the fallen and of the entire nation can be written. Our sages say that it’s possible to burn a Torah scroll, but the letters that constitute the Torah along with the nation’s spirit, strength, and determination can never be destroyed – and neither can we. This is the consolation that I have attempted to bring to our people.”


Translation by Yehoshua Siskin.


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Sivan Rahav-Meir is a popular Channel 12 News anchor, the host of a weekly radio show on Galei Tzahal, a columnist for Yediot Aharonot, and the author of “#Parasha.” Every day she shares short Torah thoughts to over 100,000 Israelis – both observant and not – via Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Translation by Yehoshua Siskin.