Friday, October 28, 2011

On Rosh Chodesh Elul, at six in the evening, the telephone rang at the home of Rabbi Chaggai Halevi, Rabbi of the Ramah shul in Givatayim [and also Chabad shliach in the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan].
Eli, the owner of the Hapitzutziah kiosk, was on the line. He wanted to invite the Rabbi to a special ceremony at the shul on Friday before the beginning of Shabbos. The ceremony was in honor of the closure of the kiosk from the beginning of Shabbos until the end. Rabbi Halevi was surprised and delighted by this news. This doesn’t happen every day and Rabbi Halevi could not hide his pleasure. He praised his friend the kiosk owner, saying, “May Hashem bless you with His great generosity.”
“You should know that I got the courage to do this because when you and your children walk to shul on Shabbos, you always wish me a gentle ‘Good Shabbos,’ the warmth and sweetness of which penetrates and warms my heart,” said Eli. “And I really couldn’t stand in its way. You have never spoken to me about keeping Shabbos, and that’s what got me.” (from shmais; israeli newspaper)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Signatures on the Miluimnikim Declaration

Wow. You gotta read the list of people who signed the declaration (see post below) that if they are ever captured by terrorists, G-d forbid, they do not want to terrorists let out of jail in return for their release. Look how many people signed already! And the comments..! The comments blow my mind away. Sai the self-sacrifice and sai the love for their fellows Jews.
Who is like Your nation of Israel??

Monday, October 24, 2011

Miluimnikim declare refusal to be freed in exchange for terrorists.

By Chana Ya'ar for
An IDF reservists' group called "My Israel" is calling on soldiers to sign a petition not to participate in future terrorist swaps that would free murderers with blood on their hands.
The move comes following therelease of 477 terrorists, includingmany fulfilling exactly such criteria, as part of a prisoner exchange deal to free kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, held hostage for more than five years by the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza. Shalit was freed last week in the first phase of the two-part exchange, which will eventually free 1,027 Palestinian Authority inmates of Israeli prisoners, including many murderers serving multiple life sentences who immediately vowed upon their release to renew their terrorist careers as soon as possible.
The petition, which can be found on the group's website, urges the government not to ever agree to a prisoner swap that frees terrorists with blood on their hands.
Signatories on the petition agree not to participate in such a swap if they are ever, G-d forbid, captured or kidnapped in future action.
"We demand [the government] not release murderers, also at the price of our own personal lives," clarified the reservists.
My Israel chairperson Ayelet Shaked and David Tzviel, who initiated the petition, said the campaign is intended to facilitate the efforts of decision makers who might in future be faced with the need to negotiate for the release of Israeli soldiers in captivity.
"When soldiers and reservists say they are ready to bear on their shoulders the burden of [defending the nation], even the terrible suffering [if] captured by the enemy, to save Israel from the terrible danger posed to the country due to the release of terrorists -- the State of Israel can't avoid expressing a firm, resolute and clear stance against the terrorist organizations in this matter," said the two.
The petition may be signed, and names of other participants may be seen at the organization's website, by clicking here.
my bravado gone
i sink in despair, what shame
i call to the hills

Perpetual Struggle

And I'm sitting here debating whether I should continue my struggle or move on. Challenge myself or let myself flourish. The struggle is tearing me apart as is the debate.

I get my Daily Dose. I just KNOW it's gonna hit the spot. G-d keeps doing that to me.
I read it.
It hit the spot.
I'll stay.

Perpetual Struggle
Tishrei 26, 5772 · October 24, 2011

Some think life is all about doing good and keeping away from evil. To them, struggle has no purpose of its own -- to have struggled is to have failed. Success, they imagine, is a sweet candy with no trace of bitterness.
They are wrong, very wrong. Struggle is an opportunity to reach the ultimate, when darkness itself becomes light. In the midst of struggle, an inner light is awakened. Light profound enough to overwhelm the darkness, encasing it and winning it over.
But if darkness never fights back, how will it ever be conquered?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gilad is Home.

Dear Friend,
I felt a tear forming as I watched a clip of a young man in army fatigues jump into salute to his commander in chief, when in truth it is us, each and every one - from the prime minister down, who are saluting him, young Gilad.
Like me, I’m sure you also felt an urge to reach into the computer screen and hug the shy and unassuming hero who suffered in misery so that we could live in security.
And together with that, reading the Prime Minister’s letter to the family of the victims of the terrorists being freed – and hearing the haunting promises and calls in Gaza of “the next Gilad” G-d save us, I feel the pain and hurt of the past, and the palpable worry for the future, of a nation still very wounded.
Is our joy complete? No. The practical implications of the price paid (but please G-d should not have to be paid further) is palpable.
Yet, words like “worth” “value” and “proportionate” just seem out of place in the discussions around possibly bringing a young boy home to his mother and father, but these are the tragic realities in the life of Israel today.
It seems obvious though, that despite the conflict of feelings and emotion, everyone, yes everyone from the close-knit members of the Shalit family (and aren’t we all a part of their family today), to the cynical journalists in Europe, to the murderous bloodsuckers in the Middle East - everyone realized something profound about the Jewish People today; that we are one.
If there is just one thread missing in the global tapestry of our people, we are incomplete. Whether right or wrong, fair or unjust, there is no one that will deny that there is nothing more valuable and precious to the Jewish people, than the brother or sister next to them.
In the late 1940’s two young rabbis were sent by The Rebbe, of righteous memory, to visit Jewish people across the metro Chicago area.
On their return they gave the Rebbe a report of their many visits and shared an incident where they were challenged by one of their hosts, for their reason of coming to visit. When they had told him that they weren’t coming to collect money he asked “then what for?”
“Do you know what a Sofer is?” the rabbi asked the middle aged traditional but secular Chicago businessman. “Of course, the person who writes Torahs” he answered.
“So,” the rabbi explained “a Torah that is missing even one letter is incomplete and must be repaired. And to ensure that all of the letters are complete, there were Sofers who would travel around from village to village and check the Torahs to repair and protect every last letter of the Torah.
The Jewish People are compared to a Torah and when even one letter is missing, when even one soul strays from the community, the entire nation is fractured. We were sent by the Rebbe to travel around and visit our fellow people, and repair each “letter” and their connection to the Torah.”
On return to New York they shared the jist of the exchange with the Rebbe who seemed somewhat dissatisfied with the analogy.
“Whereas the Parchment and Ink of Torah are two distinct and possibly separated entities” the Rebbe explained, “the unity of the Jewish People is more accurately comparable to the words engraved on the Tablets. There the stone and the words are one and the same.
The only obstacle is if and when the engraved letter becomes filled with dust. And that is your job to go around and “brush the dust” concealing the beauty of every soul, so that then they can shine once again.”
For over five years, the holy letter of our beloved Gilad ben Aviva was concealed by the dust and grime of a heartless terrorist regime. With thanks to the Almighty G-d, the five years of accumulated dust was swept away, and the radiant pale face of this beautiful “letter in the Torah” will shine once again.
    *     *
Faith and hope is what kept Gilad going all these years in isolated captivity. "I always believed there's a chance to be released," he said on Egyptian TV. His body was captured in Gaza but his soul was free, in his own country. "I missed my parents, meet people, get out," he said. He managed to keep his sanity because of the belief that one day his body will also be where his soul has always been.
Clearly nervous and shaking, he voiced no anger. There was no call for revenge or declaration of war. His composure after his five-year ordeal personified the beauty of the Jewish people.
Despite much suffering, Jews never became captive to the hate of their enemies. Regardless of what they endured, they never allowed it to compromise their goodness. Gilad Shalit captured that personality; the enduring battle for peace and compassion. “For all its ways are pleasant and all its paths peaceful."
At the Simchat Torah dancing tomorrow evening (Thursday) all of us will certainly be taking a special moment to dance with the Torah and to celebrate with Gilad reunited with his family and the reunited unity of the Jewish People.
But we – all of us, need you there. We need your letter. Otherwise we’re still not complete…
Please G-d may this window of hope open the gates of mercy and may the merit of Gilad ben Aviva open the way for the ultimate redemption of the Jewish people reunited with the coming of Mashiach and eternal peace in our Holy Land.

Wishing you a Chag Sameach, a truly Happy Holiday and Shabbat Shalom!
Shaul & Esther