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Rabbis' Blog

A Message from Israel!

Dear Friends,

This week, in honor of my father’s first Yartzheit, Chani and I travelled to Israel to observe the day together with my family. We are currently spending our time visiting with family and touring our beautiful land. Sadly, the roads are clear of traffic and the tourist attractions are eerily empty.

Last night we visited the boardwalk in Tel Aviv. Usually a hub of humanity and activity; instead, there were empty shops and bars and plenty of available parking spots. We also visited Mini Israel. We were told that 2,000 children in summer camps across the country were scheduled to visit this beautiful attraction. Alas, all summer camps were closed and the museum was empty. The generally bustling Kotel plaza is strangely quiet.

Mini Israel.jpg 
Touring "Mini Israel". We couldn't even find someone to take a photo of the two of us!

Why? Our neighbors are shooting rockets morning, noon and evening. People are afraid to leave their homes with their children. Not only in the south – in Tel Aviv! Our cousins in Kiryat Malachi are sleeping in bunkers and safe rooms. The chupa of our cousins’ wedding in Kfar Chabad (a few miles south of Tel Aviv) was “graced” with a clear view of the Iron Dome intercepting a rocket from Gaza. The situation is terrifying.

Thank G-d! He has endowed our people with the wisdom to develop the Iron Dome. It is doing wonders intercepting many of the projectiles headed towards populated areas. Even more miraculous, hundreds of rockets are falling into open and deserted areas thereby causing no casualties or damage.

Today, the 12th day of Tammuz, in the year 1927, the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchok Schneerson, was released from Soviet imprisonment. For years the Rebbe defied the authorities who were bent on destroying every last vestige of Judaism and valiantly set up an underground Jewish infrastructure: Jewish schools, synagogues and various community organizations. In an attempt to break this religious network the communists arrested the Rebbe and subjected him to many hours of torture and interrogation.

Once, one of the interrogators pointed a pistol to the Rebbe and said, “This toy has made many strong men change their ways.” The Rebbe replied, “This toy intimidates one who has two G-ds and one world. I have one G-d and two worlds.”

When one has “one world” i.e. he sees himself as the epicenter of reality then his fundamental principles can be swayed based on the circumstances. Physical survival is the priority. The “toy” can be very persuasive. However, when one has only “One G-d” i.e. the epicenter of his reality is the ultimate and unswerving truth; all the “toys” in the world cannot sway him.

The current war is essentially a psychological one. Our enemies know that they are no match militarily. They therefore wage a war of terror. With various “toys” they try to disrupt our peaceful way of life and cast us under the shadow of fear and uncertainty. They wish to intimidate the soul of our nation.

The redemption of the Previous Rebbe on Tammuz 12, 1927 indicates that commitment to life and peace will always prevail over the forces of darkness and terror. As our brothers and sisters run down to the bunkers, we in the Diaspora must do our part in ensuring their protection and the ultimate victory. We must add in prayer and do more mitzvot. This is what we are doing here in Israel.

I beseech you - commit yourselves to do an extra mitzvah in connection with Shabbat. Women, light Shabbat candles Friday afternoon. Men, say the Kiddush. Encourage a friend to do the same.

We are One Nation with One Land united by One Torah. May we merit to be rid of all threats and disturbances and experience a blessed and calm Shabbat.

Rabbi and Chani Greenberg
Now in Israel!

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