Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Perfect Beginning & A Perfect End

Today we celebrated Israel's Independence Day. We began our day in a perfect way -volunteering in the Pina Chama (a hospitality hut) for soldiers. For the past 62 years, the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces have been deputies to G-d, working 24/7 to keep our people safe and protect us from the dangers that surround us on every front.
To show our thanks and to give a little attention to those soldiers who were on duty and couldn't be with their families for their own barbecue, we made a "family" barbecue for hundreds of servicemen.
Pina Chama men began barbecuing at 10 AM, and by the end of the day, they had flipped 250 kilos of chicken, meat and kabobs. Parents and children worked together making salads and packages for the soldiers to take back to their look-outs and remote positions.
The good feelings filled the air and soldiers and volunteers alike shared the joy of Israel's Independence Day - appreciating one another.
The flag flew high at the Pina Chama as 800 soldiers enjoyed a home-cooked BBQ, made with lots of love and enthusiasm. The day was general-ed by Efratian Nava Eizik and couldn't have been more organized and well-done, bli ayin hara.

You'll be able to see Voices TV's clip of the Pina Chama Independence Day at http://voices-magazine.com/voices-videos.php?id=133. Visit http://www.voices-magazine.com/ for other great clips.

A Perfect Ending

We ended Israel's Independence Day in a perfect way as well. We began the morning with a patriot flag waving activity. And we ended the day with a Jewish-ly patriot Torah dancing activity. Our friends Menachem and Eudice Spitz dedicated a Sefer Torah in memory of their parents and siblings, o'h.
Eudice said that often on Israel's Independence Day, when you have a simcha, people don't really want to miss their BBQ to join you, but when it came to this Sefer Torah Dedication everyone said, "Yes!"
It goes back to the earliest times of the Jewish People leaving Egypt. In the Passover Seder favorite - Dayeinu - we sing, "If only G-d had taken us out of Egypt, it would have been enough...If only He brought us to Mount Sinai, it would have been enough. If only He had given us the Torah, it would have been enough...If only He had brought us into the Land of Israel, it would have been enough."
But we learn from Dayeinu, that it really wouldn't have been enough. G-d knew what He was doing. We need both the Torah and the Land of Israel to be complete Jews. Having the Torah without the Land would have been a half empty glass, just like having the Land without the Torah would have been half empty as well.
Ending today's beautiful day with a meaningful joyous Sefer Torah dedication affirmed that B"H we have both together - a life of Torah in the Land of Israel.
So, I'd like to thanks Eudice and Menachem for making our holiday complete.
PS - If we're talking about Dayeinu, let's not forget that the song ends with G-d's building us the Bet Hamikdash (the Holy Temple). Just as that was the goal then, it is still the ultimate goal of the Jewish nation - the rebuilding of the Holy Temple (may it happen speedily in our day).

Addendum: Remember yesterday on Yom HaZikaron (Remembrance Day), I told you about a soldier who had been killed in Gaza while searching for smuggling tunnels. His name was Haggai Lev, and I mentioned that his family always tried to participate in events that brought happiness. http://voices-magazine.blogspot.com/2010/04/from-depths-of-sadness-contributing-to.html
Well, tonight as the Sefer Torah was being danced through the streets of Efrat, it was Chaggai's tallit (prayer shawl) that was used as a chuppah (wedding canopy) for the new scroll.
Chag sameach.

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