Thursday, July 14, 2011

Leiby Kletzky

Chana's post about Leiby Kletzky says it all.

The song she quotes- A rose among the flowers- is the song that rings in my head when thinking about the passing of former classmates of mine- Aviva and Chaya, a"H. The song states the tale of how the king found a precious rose in his garden, and rather than let it stay and wilt, he plucked it before its time to be by him. If anyone has the whole lyrics- I am searching for them. It begins: "Once upon a kingdom, so very long ago..."

Hashem took these pure neshamos from us so quickly, and the only thoughts I have are that they must be such pure roses for G-d to want them in His garden near Him.

May Hashem comfort all mourners for Leiby, a"H, and for all those children who are taken from us early.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Silent Scream

Yes, the title is a bit freaky. But that's the song from the Shira Chadasha Boys' Choir that makes me tear up every time I hear it.

It's an emotional song, about Chana, the mother of Shmuel HaNavi, (Samuel the Prophet), one of the Jewish people's greatest leaders. Most who read this blog know that Chana suffered from infertility- as the first wife of Elkanah, she watched as her co-wife, Penina, bore child after child, while she had none. Penina (albeit with good intentions) even teased her about the fact in order to get Chana to pray to G-d with more fervor.

Chana eventually had a child, Shmuel, who's name means that G-d listened to her. My husband and I continually have a fight (well, more of an argument) on what Chana asked for in a child. I learnt, as did many of the women I checked with, that Chana asked for a normal child- average, nothing extraordinarily different, but she was granted the exceptional. He learnt (and looked up for me) that Chana wanted a child like Moshe and Aharon, (Moses and Aaron) and was granted her request, showing the importance of prayer, and of belief in our children. (Did anyone else hear one of these explainations?)

Either way- this song truly captures the essence of Chana's plea to G-d, and her reward. May all those suffering from the utter pain that is infertility find hope in the story of Chana, and may G-d bless them with children in abundance.

Sorry about the annoying background, but it was the only youtube I could find easily to link to. Listen to the words, forget about the screen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Israel Air Force Induction 2011

I couldn't attend- grad school interfered- but I sent my mother, a recent immigrant to the country to the IAF- Israel Air Force induction ceremony in Be'ersheva. Nefesh B'Nefesh tracked down some extra tickets for this amazing experience, and armed with a Teudat Zehut and a love of Israel- my mother was allowed to attend.

It is only open to those who are relatives of the pilots, former pilots, and any of those with the special tickets granted to the event.

Speaking to my mother after the event, she remarked that it was a truly beautiful experience. All the pilots, neat, handsome, polite and respectful, were truly a sight to behold. HaTikva was sung with grace, and a music concert lightened up the air.

The pilots themselves showed off the individual planes, speaking in English and in Hebrew, and answering questions to all who wanted. There was an air show, with precision moves, gracefully sweeping through the sky, for two hours of awe and amazement. Many of the pilots were wearing kippahs, my mother said, many were religious as well. All were absolutely proud and joyful that they reached this day and earned their wings.

A proud parent of a pilot remarked to my mother that he himself was in the 1967 war, and it was only due to the pilots in the air that he on the ground lived to see this day. He stood there with his son the pilot, his other son the yeshiva student, and all with proud grins on their faces.

May G-d safeguard these soldiers- may they never have to use their excellent skills in war, and if they do, let them all come safely home.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I would like to write, but...

I feel like I have a list of excuses why I never post any more, with the major ones being: work, school, NBD (who is not so NB anymore!) , Mr. NMF, family, friends, and so on.

So many beautiful things have happened here in Israel since I posted last.
Chesed abounds in this fabulous country- and I have been the recipient of much of it.

There is a custom in some Jewish families' households to hang pictures of famous rabbis that they would like to emulate on their wall, in the fulfillment of the verse that our eyes should view our teachers. Namely, that everyone that you hang on your wall should be someone that you would like to learn from.

After rereading for the dozenth time about R' Aryeh Levin, ztl, I would love to put him on my wall. Why? Simply that his Ahavas Yisroel- love for all Jews- knew no boundaries- across religious and nonreligious barriers, across political barriers, and ideological barriers. The chesed (lovingkindness) he performed for so many Jewish people- it defies logic.

Here's a quick story from his life. A man that R' Aryeh Levin knew as one of the fellow teachers in his school had to stay up all night with a sick member of his household. As such, he was falling asleep during the day, and up all night- ruining his livelihood. One night there was a knock on this man's door. R' Aryeh and his wife were standing there in the darkness. R' Aryeh said, "Now you can go to sleep. My wife and I need to discuss something privately, and we can't doing at home for fear the children will overhear."

He was known as the Rabbi of the Prisoners- for his job of visiting them every week, rain or shine, sleet or not- political uprising, or not. When the prisoners were asked if he should become formally the Rabbi of the Prison- they were all for it. But it never ended up happening for various political machinations. In the end- the prisoners remarked- that it was a good thing- for R' Aryeh was never the Prison Rabbi- but the Rabbi of the Prisoners. It wouldn't have suited him.

Chesed abounds in this county- I just have to wake up and see it. And then write about it so you can see it too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tough Exterior, Hearts of Gold

It gets me everytime. These hard boiled Israeli people- said in the nicest possible way of course- just melt at the slightest emotion.

They live through wars, send their children to be soldiers, work hard, pray hard, learn hard- life in Israel is hard. After all, it's a Gemara- Israel was given with trials and tribulations.

But when the guard makes silly faces at my 2 year old, or the mother on the bus carrying her packages home from Machane Yehuda Shuk helps another young mother wrap up her newborn, or even when the post office lady doesn't yell at me today because I have my toddler with me- I just melt.

This is such a special country. Tough exteriors, hearts of gold. No wonder this city is called Jerusalem of Gold. It reflects their souls.