Executive Director, Torah MiTzion
Parshat Toldot emphasizes the divide between Yitzchak and Rivka’s twins, Esav and Yaakov. The Halacha that Esav hates Yaakov is unfortunately kept alive throughout the generations. Today we are faced with a new phase, the terror of knifing; its goal is to cause one to fear and to think twice about walking safely anywhere in Israel, to cause doubt and to question -can we ever lead a normal life in our own homeland?
These times are challenging for those that have loved ones living or studying in Israel and every news byte is a cause of concern. Did we make the right choice in sending them there or leaving them there?
These times are challenging for our Shlichim being away from home and disconnected from Israeli society, with a sense of frustration of inhibiting their help for Israel. Some of their friends have been called up for active duty or hurt or killed. Our Shlichim have not been to the funerals, or have not been to the shiva calls.
However, we all have a role to be a light of hope and a source of strength to our brothers in the different Kehillot. Even more so as we enter the month of Kislev, associated with bravery, we are standing strong with Israel.
Just a few weeks ago, on Motzei Shabbat of Sukkot, on Hoshana Rabbah, we witnessed an act of bravery which serves as a source of strength and pride for Am Yisrael. Just by Rechov Hagai in the old city, a terrorist attacked Aharon and Adele Benita and their toddler son. They killed Aharon and managed to knife Adele. Harav Nechemiah Lavi heard screams for help. He did not hesitate, but rather dashed outside to intervene and save Jewish lives he did not even know. He struggled with the terrorist who unfortunately severely wounded him.
Through Rav Nechemia’s act of bravery the terrorist’s rampage was impeded, tragically paying with his life.
On Rav Nechemia’s rifle belt was written:
“בנין האומה ואהבת חינם”
“Building of the nation and unconditional love”
Rav Nechemia, known for his smile, shared love and warmth to all those who came in contact with him, devoted his life to Torah and the settling the land of Israel.
During these difficult times Rav Nechemia’s act of bravery and devotion is an inspiration to all of us, enabling us to stand strong with Israel.