Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Itamar, settling the Land and other Israel reflections
Shlomo HaMelech (King Solomon) wrote that it is better to go to the house of mourning than to a house of feasting. I think, because it's more conducive to serious contemplation about what life is all about. I've been wanting to sit down and write something for a number of days now but I just couldn't get the emotional energy to break out of the terrible saddness I and many Jews around the world are feeling today after the horrendous murder in Itamar this past Friday night. Adar feels decidedly unAdarlike this year. I just couldn't bring myself to write about regular things like books and crafts. While life certainly has to go on, we have to learn from everything that happens to us. So in this post I'd like to share some things that I've been mulling over lately and some inspiring thoughts that I've read by others in the aftermath of the tragic deaths of Udi and Ruti Fogel and three of their beautiful children HY"D. Here is a link to an article about how we have to learn from the righteous people who died and by extension to continue in their path. From what I've read and listened to, the Fogels examplified what the ideal Jewish life should be with their purity, modesty, dedication to Torah and good deeds, their idealism and love of the Land of Israel, their simplicity and few material wants and dedication of their whole being to the ideals they lived for. It is trully something to learn from and aspire to. But I've been thinking recently about what gives the Jewish people, especially those living in Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria)and formerly in Gaza, the strength to carry on and surmount almost any obstacle in their quest to settle the Land and face the numerous and formidable challenges on regular basis. Then in a disengagement diary called Alei Katif by Yitzchak Amati, I read an amazing Or HaChaim that gives a very interesting answer. He writes that when a person is going to perform a particular mitzva than the souls of those Jews that have already departed this world and who in their lifetime wanted to perform this same mitzva but didn't get to, these souls then accompany this person in his performance of the mitzva. So the author writes, that when today the Jewish people go and settle the Land of Israel, like Hashem has intended, they are accompanied in their efforts by all the Jews who lived and pined and yearned and prayed to live and settle the holy land of Israel before them but couldn't. I would like to say perhaps this might explain the wind under the wings that many people feel once they decide to make aliyah as well, a feeling that nothing can stand in their way. jewishmom.com has a great peptalk for moms on how to be happy this Purim, even with all the tragedies going on in the world right now. May Hashem turn our sadness to joy and our tears to laughter and may we all live in all of our Holy and beautiful land in holiness and true peace and tranquility!