Today, the weekly update was written by Rabbi Chaim Levine.
The Image below appeared in the Israeli Maariv newspaper during the Yom Kippur War in October, 1973. Until today it was the most traumatic moment in the history of Israel, and there were times during the war when very existence of Israel seemed to hang in the balance. Just to give you a sense of this, almost 2,800 IDF combat soldiers died defending Israel in less than four weeks. There wasn’t a family in Israel who wasn’t affected by loss and injury.
The cartoon was entitled “The Dream of Sukkot Evening, Reality to Follow”.
On the left is a Lulav with binding the rulers of Egypt and Syria and the words “victory”, and on the right is an Etrog with the words “‘peace”. It took incredible hope and faith to write both words. One of the things I love about the drawing is that even in the face of potential disaster and under great attack, we still held out the dream of peace.
Our small country paid an almost unfathomable price and achieved victory. Now, 45 years later, we still dream about the words written on the Etrog, and we will never give up on that dream.
Why have our soldiers always been called member of the Israel Defense Forces? Why are there so many songs written about Israeli wars revolve not around the theme of victory but around the dream for peace? Because the spirit of the Jewish People beats in hearts of those who sacrifice their lives and well being to defend our nation. The same spirit that carried us through the Yom Kippur war still glows in the hearts of our precious soldiers today.
King David wrote in Psalms, “He does not slumber and He does not Sleep, the Defender of Israel.” In two days when we enter our Sukkahs to drink wine and rejoice, there will be IDF soldiers all over Israel who will continue to stand guard on every border. They will not slumber and they and will not sleep, for the safety of the Jewish Nation rests on their shoulders.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,