I can’t believe another week has gone by, and another month too, since April begins today. And yet here we are, time for another Good News Friday post.
I start with a piece of amazing, delightful and miraculous good news: Yehuda Yitzchak HaYisraeli, a critically wounded soldier from Operation Protective Edge, has made a miraculous recovery, and has even begun to speak again:
As they entered the city of Rafiah, he enjoined his troops to leave behind their fears and other concerns, to concentrate solely on the coming battle. “Now we forget our home and family – and we are for the Nation of Israel.” This was especially true for Yehuda Yitzhak himself, as he was leaving behind a pregnant wife and young daughter.
Tragically, however, during the fight in Rafiah, he was critically wounded, suffering a near-fatal wound to the head. Shrapnel penetrated his skull, entering his brain, leaving him unconscious for an extended period and rendering him unable to speak.
His second child, a son, was born while he lay unconscious in Soroka Hospital and the baby’s brit milah was held there, with his bed moved to be near it, although he did not respond. His father teaches at Morasha Religious Zionist elementary school in Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem, and the night prior to the brit, his entire class came to the hospital by bus to say the Shema prayer at the infant’s crib and pray for Yehuda Yitzhak’s recovery.
After a series of eight operations, Yehuda Yitzhak made a remarkable recovery, regaining consciousness and the ability to communicate. But still, he remained unable to talk.
During a recent family celebration in Har Bracha, however, Yehuda Yitzhak demonstrated his improving condition, smiling for photographs with relatives, and even speaking.
… His uncle, Yoni HaYisraeli, spoke to Arutz Sheva about his nephew’s condition and the renewed optimism for a complete recovery.
Yehuda Yitzhak’s appearance at the celebration was no small accomplishment, HaYisraeli told Arutz Sheva, but was a special moment for the family.
“We had a celebration after the birth of twin daughters, and my older brother [Yehuda Yitzhak’s father] decided that they were coming. An ambulance brought [Yehuda Yitzhak] to the celebration and returned him [to the hospital] afterwards. It was a difficult arrangement… but we see how his eyes light up every time he gets together with the family.”
I admit to becoming quite teary-eyed as I read this article. Yehuda Yitzchak is in my daily prayers, and I recommend we all continue to pray for the complete recovery of this courageous hero, Yehuda Yitzchak Ben Iris.
Another Israeli hero is found on the other side of the world – Hany Baransi, an Israeli Arab restaurant owner who would not let himself be intimidated despite an attack by a Somali hatchet-wielding attacker. At the time Baransi insisted he was going to keep flying the Israeli flag in his restaurant, and in fact would fly an even bigger one. This week, the Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, helped Hany in his goal by presenting him with a huge Israeli flag. Israellycool has the heartwarming story:
After the brutal attack, Hany was asked if he would stop displaying the Israeli flag. He replied “Actually I have another flag, and I am going to get a bigger flag, and I am going to get a Star of David necklace and put it on my chest, and I am going to get a tattoo.” “Honest to God, I am not kidding. They don’t scare me. We are Israelis. We are Israelis. We are resilient, we fight back.”
After I read about this story, I called Hany and asked him if he would give me, as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, the privilege of providing him with the flag that he would hang in his restaurant.
I presented Hany with that flag yesterday and asked this proud Israeli to raise an even bigger flag – the one that flies over our Embassy in Washington.
Thank you, Hany, for making all of us proud.
Kol hakavod to Hany Baransi on his courage and on his loyal support for Israel. Would that all Israelis and Diaspora Jews show as much support. Well done too to Ambassador Dermer for giving such a strong show of support to Hany and the local community.
Speaking of support for Israel, we can hardly do better than American comedienne Roseanne Barr, who used to be a harsh critic of Israel before she opened her mind and her heart and learned the truth about Israel. Since that time she has become a very strong, outspoken supporter of Israel in a milieu where it is unfashionable, if not downright condemned, to support Israel.
This week Roseanne came to visit Israel and spoke at the anti-BDS conference organized by Ynet. Here she is in her address to the conference. Listen to her as she describes how she turned her point of view around, and what the left-wing circles in which she mixed really think about Jews. And be impressed by her understanding of the perils of BDS and who is behind this nefarious organization:
It takes a very brave person and a very honest one to admit to oneself, let alone to others, that their worldview is wrong and allow oneself to be re-educated.
Kol hakavod Roseanne Barr on your honesty, your courage, and your solid support for Israel! I wish you continued success in your work in supporting Israel. Please come back and visit us again soon!
And from the sublime to the ridiculous, here’s some good news for Scottish Jews – after “only” a 300 year wait, Scottish Jews finally have their own tartan! I kid you not 🙂
A rabbi initiated the process of the officially registered plaid, meaning Scottish Jews can now dance their jigs in officially registered attire.
The tartan, featuring distinctive tones of navy and burgundy, is a kosher non wool-linen mix which abides by shatnez – the Jewish law prohibiting the mixture of wool and linen in garments.
Religious experts and tartan authorities worked together to come up with a design that represent both Jewish values and Scottish history.
The tartan is registered with the Scottish National Register of Tartan in the name of the Jewish Community of Scotland.
The colours, weave, and number of threads have all been picked for their importance in Judaism.
The tartan design features blue and white, the colours of both the Israeli and Scottish flags, with the central gold line representing the gold from the Ark in the Biblical Tabernacle.
The silver is to represent the silver that adorns the Scroll of the Law, while the red depicts the traditional Kiddush wine.
There are seven lines in the central motif and three in the flag representations – both numbers of great significance in Judaism
Here is Rabbi Mendel Jacobs in his glorious technicolour tartan tallit:
Mazal tov to the Scottish Jewish community, to whom we can now say “Och Aye the Nu”! 😀
And to conclude, since it’s April Fools day after all, a bit of silliness. In the spirit of one of my favourite blogs, Israellycool, who has a whole series of these, here is my very own version of a “separated at birth” duo:
Please someone, tell me they’re not one and the same person?! I mean, they’re both police chiefs in small Middle Eastern countries, they look like twins… /cue scary music…
And on that very awe-inspiring note I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!