Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Only in Israel

If I was a person who placed bets, I could wager with 100% certainty that no one living outside of Israel, our Holy Land, has a job where going to the Kotel, the Western Wall, is part of their job description! It is a source of pride to me, that not only am I blessed to be employed in these difficult times, but that I merit to participate in a venture which helps others less fortunate than myself. Today at 6 p.m., I will join my co-workers and approximately 100 young children from the Yad Ezra V’Shulamit’s Children’s Centers, for a pre-filming of the upcoming fundraising event based on the theme “The Power of Children’s Prayers”. On September 5th, a few days before Rosh Hashanah, there will be a global broadcast with events being held simultaneously the world over. People will submit prayers and once again, children will be brought to the Kotel to pray for them.

The purpose of this blog post is not to promote the cause even though it is a very worthy organization. Among other services, they gives out hundreds of food baskets weekly, run Children’s and Youth Centers for the children of needy families and a job desk to help those seeking gainful employment.

My point is to encourage everyone who is not yet in Israel to consider making this their home. It may be the farthest thing from your mind, but if you consider it carefully, you will understand that Israel is really your home. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev once said "For the people of Israel, miracles are the way of nature, for the people of Israel are above nature." I can say with all sincerity, that this is indeed the case.

With trust in Hashem and the knowledge that He is running the world, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place with an abundance of clarity. If your lives are hectic and full of difficulties, I would advise reading this best-selling book which will change your life for the better; The Garden of Emuna

I am truly thankful for my lot in life but I pray for the day when I will no longer need to work for a tzedaka (charity) organization; the day when there will be no hunger, no poverty and no sickness. May it be G-d’s Will that that day come soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And to Jerusalem, Your City

This is probably not going to be the most well written blog because I am writing it more quickly than I usually do. But I really need to just say what I want to say and get it out there. Enough is enough.

I just returned home from work after spending well over two hours in the scorching heat after weaving through a medley of transportation routes and methods. And it's not the first time. A few weeks ago, also on a sweltering day with temperatures well into the 30s, I walked for block after block in order to get a bus home. Why? Because there were demonstrations going on in Jerusalem and many streets were closed to traffic.

No, I'm not upset or angry per se. I understand that it is all from HaShem and whatever happens is meant to be. But we do have some free will in all this and my heart is simply breaking from what I am seeing.

The major points in condensed form are that many Haredi (orthodox) men and women were arrested because they refused to send their daughters to a school in Emmanuel which was not up to their standards. In protest of these arrests, the Haredi sector sent busloads of supporters to Jerusalem to block the streets in order to rebel against this atrocity. I don’t really want to get into who is right or who is wrong. The truth is, mistakes were made on all sides. I understand all points of view but I don't agree in the least with how it has been handled all around. Can people not get results by doing things in a civilized manner? Agreeably, the arrests were not appropriate but protesting out in the streets like that only creates more loshon hora (bad talk) and a chilul Hashem, a desecration of G-d’s name. These men in black and white represent the most pious sector of society so perhaps they should have given more thought to this public outcry. But they do it because it works. That in itself is a grievous mistake. As a mother, I can tell you that giving into a child with a temper tantrum only begets more of the same. If I could sit down with my child and work out a solution to the problem, it would save endless aggravation and tears. And most likely this didn’t happen overnight which leads me to the conclusion that this should have been dealt with over the course of time rather than just letting it simmer until it finally boiled over. This is the END of the school year, not the beginning.

Prophecies tell us of the battle for Jerusalem, when our enemies will try to lay claim to our Holy City. But what of the battles IN Jerusalem, WITHIN our own People, BY our own People, BETWEEN our own People? This disunity is what is keeping the Geula (redemption) away. How can we expect to make peace with our enemies if we can’t even have peace between ourselves? We cannot be “A Light unto the Nations” if we are blocking the Divine Light with all this unnecessary dissent. We are only bringing darkness and pain into the world by these actions. The expression “Charity begins at home” can also refer to being charitable as a human being; that is being accepting and tolerant of one another. We are all family and as such we need to respect our brothers and sisters especially within the Home G-d gave us (Israel).

It’s a known fact that when tragedy strikes our People, we always pull together and stand strong in unity and brotherhood. With the winds of war looming eerily over our heads, let’s not wait until it’s too late show our love for one another. The time for harmony is now.

(another post on the same topic by a friend)