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.