Photo Credit: courtesy, Sivan Rahav Meir
Sivan Rahav Meir

“Ever since October 7th, it felt like I was gasping for air,” a student from NYU told me during my lecture to a contingent of students that arrived here from the United States.

“The last several months on campus have been one huge anti-Semitic nightmare,” he continued. “But now I feel that I can breathe again. We came here to contribute and to help, and each one of us had collected a lot of money that we donated to grieving families and to evacuees in hotels – but we also gained a lot from our visit. We received an identity, a sense of belongingness and meaning. I will never forget Shabbat in Jerusalem. I will never forget our visit to the rehabilitation department in Tel HaShomer and to the farmers in the south. There is no spirit like this anywhere else in the world. I return to campus tomorrow completely different.”


And then a girl recalled the famous verse from the book of Isaiah: “For from Zion the Torah will go forth, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem.” She related how one of her lecturers at the university took her aside and whispered, “I envy you traveling to Israel, you are on the right side of history.” But he was not willing to say this aloud in front of the class. “The world is completely confused,” she said. “Students in my class who consider themselves liberal and progressive support Hamas without shame. Our week here was a week of moral clarity. To be reminded that there is good and evil and to stand by the side of those who are good. I truly feel ‘from Zion the Torah will go forth, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem.’”

During my lecture I understood: They did not only come here to support us, but in order for us to support them. Thank you for coming. May we hear good news.


Did You Hear About What Happened In Times Square Last Saturday Night

“Shalom Sivan, there was an important event on Saturday night from which we can draw inspiration during these challenging times.

Thousands of Jewish youths from all over the world gathered in Times Square in New York City for the havdalah ceremony following a Shabbat sponsored by the Chabad for Youth organization.

Two brothers who were at the Nova Festival and managed to survive recited a chapter of psalms with deep emotion, repeated in unison by the assembled crowd. This was followed by shouts of support for the hostages, whose images were projected on a giant screen.

We heard speeches that emphasized how each individual present needed to be an emissary and a leader upon returning home to Toronto, to Texas, or to Tel Aviv.

In my eyes, Havdalah itself was the climax of the evening. I had never before felt so intensely the power of these words: “Who distinguishes between holy and profane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations.”


A Picture That Tells The Story Of Israel Today

Shavua tov Sivan, here is a picture that tells the story of Israel today:

“We are Yaheli and Tsud Bedichi from Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel. The day after Simchat Torah we quickly left home with our five children.

“All we brought with us was in the two red suitcases in the picture. That was it. Everything else in the picture we received from the community in Kfar Haroeh – in addition to contributions from throughout Israel and the world – where we lived for the past four months.

“It’s important to note that what you see in the picture is only half of what we have received.

“But this story is not over. As you can see in the picture, taken just before last Shabbat, everything was packed in our suitcases and black plastic bags since we were about to move into an apartment in the community of Hibat Zion, located just north of Kfar Haroeh between Netanya and Hadera.

“We received a message from our new community that they know it’s a challenge to move into a new apartment before Shabbat. In order to make it easy on us, they cooked all of our Shabbat meals.

“Everyone is invited to think about a title for this picture.”


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.