Shavua tov v’shaket.
As Day 12 of Mivtza Tzuk Eitan (literally, “Operation Stalwart Cliff” – i.e. “Operation Protective Edge,” which is, in essence, an extension of Mivtza Shuvu Achim – Operation Brother’s Keeper – and also a desperately-needed response to the staggering 14 years (!!) that our dear brothers and sisters in the South have been under incessant attack) draws to a close, Israel mourns the loss of Dror Chanin HY”D, a civilian volunteer who was delivering food and care packages to IDF soldiers when he was killed in a Palestinian mortar attack along the Gaza border; Sergeant Eitan Barak Z”L, who was killed in combat during the first night of the ground invasion; and Sergeant Adar Barsano HY”D and Major Amotz Greenberg HY”D, who were killed by Hamas terrorists who had infiltrated Israel on Shabbat morning.
UPDATE (Sunday, July 20) – We also mourn the loss of Staff Sergeant Benaya Ruval HY”D, who was killed by a terrorist emerging from a tunnel in Gaza; and Second Lieutenant Bar Rahav HY”D, who was killed by an anti-tank missile in Gaza.
May all their memories be blessed, and may their families be comforted among the other mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.
Meanwhile, thank you to the wonderful Our Shiputzim readers from around the world who’ve been asking how we’re doing here in TRLEOOB (=the real life equivalent of our blog).
Mostly, like the rest of the country, our thoughts and prayers are with the IDF – the brave fathers, husbands, brothers, sisters, daughters, and sons (including, of course, OS - a veteran of last year’s Amud Anan), who are working around the clock to protect Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael. May Hashem watch over and protect them, and may they all return home safe and sound.
The thing is that since that terrible day when Eyal Yifrach HY”D, Gil-Ad Sha’ar HY”D, and Naftali Fraenkel HY”D were brutally abducted and murdered in cold blood by our enemies, events have been moving at a dizzying speed.
Indeed, it seems as if every hour brings new developments, and there’s been no time to digest or understand any of them - let alone to write a coherent blog post about them.
With your permission, however, I would like to focus on two things:
1) First, the incredible revealed miracles and wonders that Am Yisrael has been privileged to witness.
For in spite of the devastating tragedy and trauma of recent weeks, words cannot begin to express our awe, amazement, and gratitude to HaKadosh Baruch Hu and His countless dedicated emissaries – including the IDF, the brilliant engineers who conceived and developed the Iron Dome, and many others – for all the goodness that He has bestowed and continues to bestow upon us.
2) Second, I don’t know if anyone has been listening, but many rabbis and community leaders have been [correctly, IMHO] exhorting Diaspora Jewry that NOW is actually the best time to make aliyah. As they explain, at this critical juncture, there is no better way to support Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael according to Torat Yisrael.
To the rabbis’ wise words, I would add that making aliyah TODAY also serves another important purpose.
Moving to our beautiful Land gives one a front row seat on Jewish history and allows one to play a major role in shaping Am Yisrael’s future.
May the coming week be filled with besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael.