Simchat Torah 5779 – Chag Same’ach!

Simchat Torah

The marathon of Jewish holidays is almost over. as the last and most joyous festival of the holiday season approaches– Sukkot finishes tonight and Simchat Torah begins.

But before that, today, the last day of Sukkot, is known as Hoshana Raba, which despite the happy nature of Sukkot is a serious day, the last day on whcih we can repent before G-d seals the Book of Life for the coming year. Special selichot prayers and the Hoshanot tefila – a circling of the synagogue 7 times while holding the Lulav and Etrog – take place in the synagogues.

Hoshana Raba Tefilot at the Kotel

As every year, Arutz Sheva has a beautiful photo essay of the prayers at the Kotel:

Hoshana Raba at the Kotel

Hoshanot on Hoshana Raba at the Kotel

And now on to Simchat Torah, which in Israel is combined with Shemini Atzeret.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote the following article about Simchat Torah and its meaning many years ago, but it is as relevant today as it was then:

MAGINE the following scene. The Lord Chief Justice, together with his senior judges, decide that law is a wonderful thing. They resolve to set aside a day each year to celebrate it. They write poems and compose songs in its honour. When the day comes, they each take a weighty tome — Halsbury’s Statutes would do nicely — and dance round the House of Lords, singing the songs and reciting the poems.

Whacky? Undoubtedly. Impossible? Probably. Yet this, more or less, is what Jews do at this time of the year, on the festival …  called Simchat Torah, literally “rejoicing in the law.” We take the scrolls of the Torah (the Law) from the holy ark and dance round the synagogue, singing love songs to God for His gift, His holy words. If you want to see the majesty and dignity of the law, go to an English court. But if you want to see the joy and exuberance of the law, go to a synagogue on Simchat Torah.

A Torah scroll is the nearest thing Judaism has to a holy object. Still written today as it was thousands of years ago — on parchment, using a quill, by a master-scribe — it is our most cherished possession. We stand in its presence as if it were a king. We dance with it as if it were a bride. We kiss it as if it were a friend. If, God forbid, one is damaged beyond repair, we mourn it as if it were a member of the family.

The Koran calls Jews a “people of the book”, but this is an understatement. We are a people only because of the book. It is our constitution as a holy nation under the sovereignty of God. It is God’s love letter to the children of Israel. We study it incessantly. We read it in the synagogue each week, completing it in a year. During the long centuries of Jewish exile, it was our ancestors’ memory of the past and hope for the future. It was, said the German poet Heinrich Heine, the “portable homeland” of the Jew.

Read it all, it is very beautiful and meaningful.

Regarding the actual day, here is what I wrote in previous years:

Simchat Torah (Rejoicing of the Torah). It is a day that is combined with Shemini Atzeret (lit: 8th day of Assembly) in Israel, whereas outside Israel it is celebrated over 2 days, with Shemini Atzeret first, and Simchat Torah on the next day, for reasons to be found here.

The festival is almost schizophrenic in character because its two parts are so completely different.  Shemini Atzeret is festive yet serious, with the Yizkor (memorial for the dead) prayer and Tefilat Geshem, the prayer for rain, (more on that here).

Simchat Torah on the other hand is pure joy, and in Israel, with the festival being celebrated all on one day, it always feels very strange to me to make the sudden switch from all the happiness and jollity of Simchat Torah to the serious prayers of Shemini Atzeret during the Musaf prayers.

But such is the reality of Jewish life I suppose, with seriousness and joy and celebration all rolled together.

So tonight we will all be gathering in shul to start the celebrations,  and the excitement of the day is something I still remember from my own childhood. All the Torah scrolls will be removed from the Aron Hakodesh  and distributed to congregants. Then the singing and dancing commences, with the Torah scrolls being danced round the shul in 7 hakafot; between each hakafah the Torahs are handed to other members. During the dancing sweets are handed out to the children who dance with their fathers holding flags (and bags to hold the sweets!).

Tomorrow morning, after morning services, the dancing with the Torah scrolls will be repeated, followed by the reading of the last chapters of the Torah: Zot Habracha (“This is the Blessing”), the blessing given by Moshe to the Children of Israel just before his death. The portion is read over and over (and over!) until every single member of the shul has been given an aliya. At that stage all the children are called up under a Chuppah, and they recite the Hamalach Hagoel prayer together with Shema Yisrael. It is an extremely exciting yet moving experience and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

There are several other customs on Simchat Torah: one person is nominated to be Chatan Torah, another to be Chatan Bereishit.

At the end of all the Torah readings, the Chatan Bereishit starts the Torah reading right from the beginning by reading the first chapters of Bereishit, to show how happy we are to begin the cycle again.

Once all these festivities are over, the atmosphere takes a sudden turn to the serious, and we say Yizkor, followed by Tefilat Geshem.  This year the first rains began slightly early and several sukkot were washed out or the lights fused by the sudden rain. However you will never hear anyone complaining about the rain in Israel. At the first droplets you hear children shouting in joy “Geshem!” (Rain!). It’s such an exciting experience after 6 or more dry months.  In the Torah, the rainfall in Israel is so closely connected to our behaviour and keeping the mitzvot that it is a positive relief, even to the secular amongst us, to see the rain arrive in the right time.

Tefillat Geshem, the prayer for rain

When Simchat Torah finishes tomorrow night, it has become an Israeli tradition to launch into second Hakafot, a second round of dancing with the Torah, but since it is no longer chag, we can use loudspeakers and have live music. It is a wonderful, uniting experience and it started as a sign of solidarity with our Diaspora brothers who celebrate Simchat Torah on the second day.

I wish you all a pitka taba, or a guten kvittel (a good note) for Hoshana Raba, and wish you all a wonderful chag same’ach for this last day of yomtov.

!חג שמח

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Good News Friday – Shabbat Chol Hamo’ed edition

We are still in the middle of Sukkot, and it’s Shabbat Chol Hamo’ed tonight, the intermediate Shabbat of Sukkot, so I want to provide you with a slightly more inspiring edition than my usual Good News Friday posts.

For a very uplifting story there’s hardly better than this great story about how the IDF integrates special needs people into the army. This is the story about a boy with Down’s Syndrome who is making a very useful contribution in his IDF service:

Kol hakavod to the IDF which goes to such lengths to integrate and promote these special people. IDF service is one of the main ways in which Israelis socialize and network. Enabling such people to serve successfully not only increases their self-confidence, but it provides them with useful training and gives them a step-up into the larger society. I’m sure you all join me in wishing Nitzan a successful service and continued success in his future.

Here is another inspiring story from Igal Lahav, the Mayor of Karnei Shomron. He writes on his Facebook post:

לעשות טוב…פשוט טוב…

מזה מס שנים שבני הנוער של בני עקיבא הרימו פרוייקט נתינה מדהים של בניית סוכות למשפחות ובודדים שאינם יכולים.
היום קבלו חשיפה בטלויזיה וספרו על הרעיון והנתינה.
גאים בכם על דרככם למען הקהילה ויישר כח ענק לכולכם/ן בשם כלל הציבור בישוב ובארץ.
המשך חג טוב ושמח

Translation

Doing good…simply doing good:

For a number of years the Bnei Akiva youth have launched an amazing giving project of building Sukkot for families and singles who cannot do it for themselves.

Today they received coverage on the TV and talked about the idea and the giving.

We are proud of your work for the community, and huge kudos to all of you, in the name of the whole community and the country.

Continued Chag same’ach.

What wonderful children we have! The kids are alright that’s for sure. 🙂  Kol hakavod to them for this beautiful idea, enabling everyone to celebrate Sukkot in style. May these youngsters take their enthusiasm and love with them into the future, may it guide them in their future lives and be an inspiration to others.

And now, since we are talking about helping others, here is an appeal which is very close to my heart.

Ahava Emunah Lange has been battling cancer for years and never asked for any help from anyone besides to pray for her and to do mitzvot (good deeds) in her name. Now she and her family need our help as she undergoes hopefully life saving treatment in Turkey.

This is what her husband Dave wrote on Facebook:

Recently, Ahava Emunah Lange began last-ditch effort treatment only available in Turkey (you can read about it here: http://chemothermia.com/). It has already shown promising results (Ahava’s stomach has reduced in size, walking has improved, and dependence on pain medication has decreased, for example) and gives us hope. It also happens to be extremely expensive, and, it pains me to admit that we cannot afford it in the long-term (and we DO hope for it, long-term, because that will mean it is working!)

Those of you who know me well know one of my faults is my pride. I have declined previous offers of financial assistance from so many of you, but have now realized the financial stress was having a big effect on Ahava (and, if I am honest, me as well). So I have relented, and agreed to this GoFundMe campaign.

It would be an understatement to say we are blown away by the kindness. Your kind words, prayers and support have definitely helped us get this far. We are forever indebted to you.

Please continue to pray for Ahava Emunah bat Chava Ehta and keep her in mind when doing good deeds.

Please help this wonderful Israeli family as much as you can.

Please pray for refuah shlema for Ahava Emuna bat Chava Ehta.

Friends of the family opened a GoFundMe crowdfunding page for Ahava Emuna. Please help if you can, and share the page widely to help in this vitally important project.

And now one more final uplifting item for today. A couple of days ago, as is our practice on the chagim, we went on “aliya le’regel” (lit: a foot pilgrimage, but in fact a car pilgrimage 😀 ) to Jerusalem in honour of the Sukkot festival. It was very tiring but so wonderful to have to fight our way through throngs of tens of thousands of worshippers and tourists in the Old City and at the Kotel. The atmosphere was wonderful, and gives us just a tiny taste of what Jerusalem will look like when the Bet Hamikdash will be rebuilt, במהרה בימינו.

As we left the Old City, we had the added bonus of seeing a beautiful dance performance by dancers in wheelchairs and dancers on their feet. Earlier the plaza above Mamilla outside Jaffa Gate had held a fair of handiwork by special needs people. What a beautiful idea!

Here are some pictures and a short clip I uploaded to Facebook:

I hope you find these items inspiring enough to lift you up for this special Shabbat.

I wish you all Mo’adim Le’simcha and Shabbat Shalom!

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Netanyahu’s UN speech: “What Iran hides Israel will find”

While we were all enjoying the great outdoors or family visits during the (still ongoing) Sukkot festival, the leaders of the world have been gathering at the UN for the annual General Assembly opening.

Tonight Binyamin Netanyahu proved himself to be one of the world’s most accomplished statesmen, as he delivered yet another masterpiece. He covered every point of importance to Israel – the unfairness of the UN’s microscopic focus on Israel, the bias of its various institutions, particularly the Human Rights Council and UNRWA, while it ignores real human rights abuses in dozens of countries such as Pakistan, China, and more. He strongly refuted the accusations that Israel’s new Nation State Law is effectively racist even as he rejected the persistent epithet of apartheid against Israel, giving several examples to prove his point. He demanded that Hamas release the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, 2 IDF soldiers who were killed in 2014 in Gaza, as well as releasing two Israeli civilians held hostage by Hamas, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.

Very importantly, Netanyahu thanked President Donald Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley for their unwavering support of Israel at the UN.

But as expected, Netanyahu reserved the focus of his speech for Iran and its now not-so-secret nuclear weapons program. He surprised us all with evidence of another nuclear site, this time using a map as his “prop”, and accused the regime of smuggling out the radioactive material within it and hiding it in sites all around Tehran, thereby endangering its own citizens.

Netanyahu displays a map of suspected Iranian atomic sites

He concluded with a reminder that Israel is the Jewish homeland and there is nothing that should be controversial about that fact.

Sadly I don’t think a lot of the world agrees with him on that point, but I was pleasantly surprised by the number of ovations that Netanyahu received. I had imagined he would be met with a stony silence.

Watch his speech at the video below. It’s really worth the time.

 

The Times of Israel mentions that immediately following the Prime Minister’s speech, the IDF released a video with more information about Hezbollah missile sites, noting that their placement around Beirut jeopardizes Lebanese citizens, itself a war crime:

But who will remember these warnings when the next flare-up occurs and Israel will inevitably be blamed for enemy civilian casualties?

To read about Donald Trump’s speech and listen to it in full, go to this post at Legal Insurrection. It has great analysis and you can read the highlights if you don’t have the time to watch the whole speech.

Posted in Defence and Military, International relations, Lawfare and Delegitimization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sukkot 5779 – Chag Same’ach!

חג סוכות שמח Happy Sukkot!

The festival of Sukkot, the most joyous festival in the Jewish calendar, begins tonight, lasting for 7 days (8 outside of Israel), running straight into the Simchat Torah festival on the 8th day (9th day outside Israel).

Sukkot is the last of the Shalosh R’galim (three pilgrimage festivals). Like Passover and Shavu’ot, Sukkot has a dual significance: historical and agricultural. Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as Chag Ha-Asif Chag Ha-Asif (in Hebrew), the Festival of Ingathering.

Inside our Sukkah

Our own Sukkah in the very unglamorous setting of our car park

On this festival Jewish households build a sukkah (pl. sukkot), a booth-like structure, where all meals are eaten, and people (usually the menfolk but not solely) even sleep there. The flimsy roof consists of leaves or branches, widely enough spaced so that one can see the stars at night, but close enough to provide shade during the day. It is considered “hidur mitzvah” – glorifying the mitzvah – if the sukkah is beautifully decorated, so of course this provides much entertainment, not to mention arts-and-crafts time, for the children to beautify their sukkah.

The sukkah is a commemoration of the flimsy huts that the Children of Israel dwelt in during their 40 years of wandering in the desert, with only the ענן הכבוד, the Cloud of Glory, to protect them by day and the עמוד האש, the Pillar of Fire, by night.

By leaving our safe and warm (or cool) houses just when autumn and the rainy season starts and going to live in a fragile hut for a whole week, it is also meant to remind us how fragile is our existence on this earth, and it is only by the grace and protection of G-d that we survive.

Arba Minim – the Four Species

On Sukkot we also bundle together the Arba Minim – “The Four Species” consisting of a Lulav (branch of palm), branches of Hadass (myrtle), Aravot (weeping willow) and an Etrog (a citron, related to the citrus family) and during Shacharit (morning prayers) wave them together in all 6 directions to show G-d’s presence everywhere. Between Yom Kippur and Sukkot the streets of Israel are packed with markets and stalls selling the Arba Minim and sukka decorations. Many people take extra care when buying their lulav and etrog, examining them minutely as if they were buying a precious diamond.

Sukkot market in Israel

The weekdays of Sukkot, as on Pesach, are called Chol Hamo’ed (lit. the weekdays of the festival) which are a semi-holiday in Israel. Schools are closed, and many places of work are either closed or work half day, giving families the chance to go on trips, hiking or visiting. On the intermediate Shabbat (Shabbat chol hamo’ed) of Sukkot, Megillat Kohelet (the book of Ecclesiastes) is read in shul. We will have the pleasure of hearing our son reading the megillah in his shul this year, as in previous years.

Israel 21C has some beautiful photos of Sukkot in Israel. Here are just a couple, go to the link and look at the rest:

A sukkah on the roof of a home in Jerusalem’s Yemin Moshe neighborhood. Photo by Yehoshua Halevi

Sukkot fill the balconies of a building in Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim neighborhood. The balconies are staggered so each sukkah’s roof is properly exposed to the sky. Photo by Yehoshua Halevi

As mentioned above, the main concept of Sukkot is emunah – faith – in G-d that he protects us at all times. Here is Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in another of his inspiring videos, this one with a cute personal touch:

And here are a couple of funnies to make you laugh before the chag:

And in case you’re having trouble (like Rabbi Sacks) in constructing your Sukkah – do not put your faith in hardware stores!

Just kidding 🙂 At least in Israel all the major hardware stores (and the small ones too) are packed with everything you need to build your sukkah, including actual sukkot.

May this Sukkot be a festival of pure joy, and may we merit to celebrate it in the rebuilt Temple speedily in our days.

I wish all those celebrating a chag Sukkot same’ach!

!חג סוכות שמח

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Some schadenfreude to start the week

It’s always nice to start the week with good news, so you might like this schadenfreude post. Ever since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, he and his diplomatic team (UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and National Security Advisor John Bolton) have had Israel’s back like no other president before him. He doesn’t only support Israel with words, but with dramatic action too, like moving the Embassy to Jerusalem. In the last couple of weeks Trump announced the closing of the PLO embassy in Washington because of the Palestinians’ refusal to enter into peace talks with Israel, and also as a reprisal for their taking their case to the ICC:

The Trump administration announced Monday that it’s closing the Palestinians’ diplomatic mission in Washington over what U.S. officials say is the leadership’s refusal to participate in the peace process with Israel.

The PLO mission in Washington

The Palestine Liberation Organization has refused to “to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a speech Monday in Washington that also took sharp aim at the International Criminal Court.

Bolton spent the bulk of his speech, however, criticizing the International Criminal Court, which he said is too harsh on Israel. Bolton warned the ICC, which the U.S. hasn’t joined, that it could face penalties if it “comes after us, Israel or other U.S. allies.”

Palestinian leaders have urged the ICC to consider action against Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. Bolton cited the Palestinian request to the court as one of the reasons the administration is shutting the diplomatic mission to the U.S.

Along with the closure of the PLO mission, Trump revoked the visas of the Palestinian envoy and his family.

And this week, following the murder of Ari Fuld Hy’d, and the Palestinians’ outrageous pledge to pay the family of the terrorist, the White House sent a warning shot to the Palestinian Authority over their “pay for slay” policy:

The Trump administration is warning the Palestinian Authority that severe US aid cuts to Ramallah may be in the offing unless it ends its compensation program for the families of murderers and terrorists convicted by Israel.

Responding to reports that the family of the killer of Ari Fuld, an American citizen, would receive official compensation for the terrorist act, a White House official noted that recent congressional legislation compels the administration to “restrict the use of Economic Support Funds that directly benefit the Palestinian Authority” unless the State Department “certifies that the PA has taken steps to end the practice of providing payments to individuals, and families of individuals, who committed acts of terrorism.”

Ari Fuld Hy’d (l), murdered by Palestinian terrorist Khalil Jabbarin (r) who will now receive a monthly stipend from the PA in reward

“As we’ve seen from today’s announcement by the Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission with respect to the terrorist who killed Ari Fuld, the practice continues,” said Edgar Vasquez, a White House spokesman. “This is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace.”

Vasquez said the administration “strongly supports” the bill signed into law in March of this year, called the Taylor Force Act, named after the US Army veteran and Vanderbilt graduate student killed in a terrorist attack in Jaffa in 2016. The law would halt funding the PA– except for three exceptions– unless the State Department reports an end to the payment scheme.

“The United States condemns the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorists and their families,” Vasquez stated. “We strongly oppose any program that incentivizes acts of violence and terrorism. We continue to demand that the Palestinian Authority stop payments related to perpetrators of political violence.”

“The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission has confirmed that the family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld is ‘eligible to receive a monthly salary’ as compensation for his incarceration,” Friedman wrote of the practice, which he also characterized as “unconscionable.”

Two days earlier, US Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted a link to a Jerusalem Post story reporting that the family of Khalil Yusef Ali Jabarin, the terrorist who murdered the 45-year-old Fuld on Sunday, would receive a NIS 1,400 monthly stipend for the next three years from the Palestinian Authority.

Greenblatt termed this “outrageous.”

It is indeed outrageous. Moreover it is probably one of the prime motivations for Palestinian teenagers to set out to murder innocent Israelis instead of going out clubbing or attending classes like any other normal teenager.

The indoctrination of Palestinian youth is a war crime and human rights violation of the highest order, and until the world holds Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies to account and forces them to change their educational system there will never be peace between Israel and the Palestinians, no matter how much land Israel gives up or how many concessions we do.

The Americans under Donald Trump have taken these vital first steps, for which I for one thank them from the bottom of my heart. If only the Europeans and their do-gooder NGOs (doing good for everyone except Israelis and Jews) would follow suit rather than stepping in to make up for the missing funds. If they don’t stop the pay-for-slay will simply continue.

However it’s not all bad news from Europe: PayPal has shut down a German NGO with links to terrorists:

The US online payment service PayPal has closed the account of the Germany-based NGO International Alliance – an organization that sympathizes with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization and supports boycotting Israel.



The Jerusalem Post
launched an investigation in early September into the funding stream of International Alliance (Internationalistisches Bündnis). The PayPal payment service for International Alliance had been available for several weeks in September. On Thursday, International Alliance’s PayPal account stated: “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.”

The Post reported on September 1 that German bank Sparkasse Witten shut down the NGO’s account.

While many German banks have terminated accounts with organizations that boycott Israel or support Palestinian terror entities such as Hamas and the PFLP, PayPal’s closure of International Alliance is believed to be the first shut down of an online payment service account in the federal republic for a group involved in BDS and with links to supporters of the PFLP.

While many German banks have terminated accounts with organizations that boycott Israel or support Palestinian terror entities such as Hamas and the PFLP, PayPal’s closure of International Alliance is believed to be the first shut down of an online payment service account in the federal republic for a group involved in BDS and with links to supporters of the PFLP.

As a result of the Post’s exposé articles since 2016, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, DAB Bank in Munich, and Postbank have terminated accounts for German NGOs and groups that wage economic warfare against the Jewish state and are linked with sympathizers of the PFLP and Hamas.

Kol hakavod to the Jerusalem Post on its exposes of these vicious groups and for getting their bank accounts shut down.

I think we are now seeing baby steps towards recognition of the vicious nature of Palestinian rejectionism, their incitement to violence and murder through their educational system, and their economic warfare on Israel.  Let’s hope this trend continues and grows.

Posted in Boycotts and BDS, Incitement, Lawfare and Delegitimization, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Good News Friday

Despite it all, the terrorism and hatred and simmering violence that we have seen in the last weeks, we are now approaching Sukkot, the happiest of our festivals. But first we have Shabbat in between, so I bring you this week’s Good News Friday installment.

I will start first with some astonishing speeches by Arab human rights activists. These activists are extremely brave, as they talk about and work for human rights for everyone, not just for Palestinians. And they call out the Palestinian leadership for their human rights abuses of their own people rather than blaming Israel for their miserbale plight.

Watch the amazing Mudar Zahran as he addresses the European Parliament earlier this month:

 

And here is the equally courageous and outspoken Bassam Eid at the same meeting:

Similarly,here is Mark Halawa, an UNRWA-registered Palestinian refugee, calling out they myth of Palestinian refugees for what it is – a myth:

On the same subject, here is American pro-Israel activist Dumisani Washington talking about the myth of Palestinian refugees:

 

These courageous speakers give us hope that if the myths can be successfully debunked there is hope for peace in the future.

Since we’re on the subject of strengthening Israel, we can all find enormous inspiration from the fantastic family of Ari Fuld Hy’d who was murdered last week. See how they marked the end of the shiva:

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Here are Ari’s brother Hillel’s words:

This morning, the extended family met at Ari’s grave to talk, pray, remember.

After that, we thought, “So what would Ari do now?”

The answer was pretty clear. He would have gone back to the very location where the murder took place, and he would have made his presence felt there. He would have proven to the world that we are still here and we are not going anywhere ever.

And so we did.

With the wall, the glass that was shattered from his fall, and the whole scene.

After that, we all agreed that Ari would not have hesitated and would have suggested, no, demanded, that we go eat.

And so, the entire Fuld and Loecher families hit up Greg Cafe in the Gush, a few meters away from where my brother became a national hero.

He left us with legacy that can be summed up in three simple words “We. Choose. Life!”

The Fuld family’s strength in their hour of sorrow is inspirational, an example to us all. May Hashem grant them the strength to continue thus with their lives and to carry on with Ari’s legacy.

Israel’s defence and security is provided by the IDF. This week I am proud to say my nephew Chanan was sworn in together with his comrades as a full IDF soldier, in a very moving ceremony in Latrun. Watch the soldiers as they swear to protect the country, and the military Rabbi blesses the soldiers with the Birkat Cohanim (the Priestly Blessing):

 

This is such an Only in Israel moment, when the religious and the military meet, and even the non-religious soldiers are happy to be blessed and the religious soldiers are happy to celebrate their new task.

May Hashem watch over all the soldiers, keep them safe and bring them home safely.

And now, one final video before Shabbat. We all know that on Yom Kippur the country comes to a standstill, but we’ve never actually seen it in action (or rather, non-action), since the streets are empty.

But here we have drone footage of the streets of Tel Aviv, normally a vital, bustling 21st Century city full of vibes and excitement, in its eerie, serene silence on Yom Kippur, and it is a wonder to behold:

 

With all these inspirational thoughts, I wish you all Shabbat Shalom, a Shabbat of peace and safety.

Posted in Israel news, Judaism, Lawfare and Delegitimization, support Israel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments