Author: Gidon Ariel

Published Date: May 04, 2020

Beautiful Spiritual Art by Michelle Katz


This week’s music: Shlomo Carlebach at Jerusalem Hospital

Tuesday morning at 11 am the siren blared. You got to really figure out a lot during those two minutes. Time to think and personalize it all. Sadness, have I done enough? Do I care enough? Tehilim, beseeching God to put a final end to all of our sadness.

Yet there are also many positive thoughts that enter my mind as I listen to the stories of families who lost loved ones in war and acts of terror here in The Holy Land. We put our political views aside as we listen. Every story was treated with equal caring and importance. No difference if my brother or sister was a soldier shot down over Lebanon, a break in on a Moshav, a bus bombing in Tel Aviv or a terror attack in the Shomron. These are all ours. Each family interviewed responded with equal commitment. This is our country. “I need to be a soldier in the IDF,” said one young man, “it is the continuation of my father’s legacy. They want us to leave. No way! We are staying right here in The Moshav that our parents set up for us.” All of the bereaved family members acknowledged the pain and sorrow, but linked it to a caveat of holy defiance. What a display and example of a love for my people, appreciation for our land. It is simply behavior that is beyond nature. It is “Eretz Yisrael” behavior, that takes place in a land that Hashem gave us to dwell in, the Land that lives and exists in the realm of supernatural.

Everybody cares! Everybody in the country stops for two minutes, reflecting and reaffirming our personal commitment to Am Yisrael, the family of Israel.

And then wow! It is Yom Haatzmaut. Time to celebrate! This is our source of hope. So much spirited feeling! Our “chessed and gevurah,” our kindness and strong commitment join together as we follow our utmost moments of mourning with an ecstatic spiritual, emotional and familial celebration .Yom Haatzmaut, for me , is kind of like Purim. Everything is turned upside down. We go from near total destruction to the highest expression of joy.

In his beautiful book, “Goel Yisrael,” The Redeemer of Israel, Rav Yaakov Ariel, as he wrote on Israel’s 50th anniversary, the Jubilee year, connects this chag to the verse from Parshat Behar “Yovel hi t’hyeh lachem,ve’shavtem ish el achuzato v’ish el nishpachto tasuvu,” it is a jubilee year to you all, each person shall return to his/her land of inheritance, and each man should return to his family (Vayikra 25.10). This is a celebration that begins with thanks and praise of God, the One who does it all. As we say in our “Hallel” prayer, “me’et hashem hayta zot,” this all comes from God (Tehilim 118.23). It is for this recognition that we sing deep heartfelt praise to Hashem on this day. There are no happenings by chance.

That seems to be the way Hashem leads in His world. We have seen throughout history that whenever there is tragedy, it is always followed by events and experiences of growth, hope and joy. It seems perfect that this week’s Torah portions are titled, “Acharei Mot –Kedoshim,” after their death there is holiness. May the memory of all of our fallen be for a holy blessing and may we merit to receive ongoing blessing and soar up to heights that we only dreamt about until now. So please everyone, come on, return home so we can be one family together.”

Chag Sameach from us all in The Beautiful Holy Settlement of Tekoa , Israel!

Refuah Shleima, blessings for good health and healing to all in need.

Shabbat Shalom,

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