Friday, April 15, 2011

Read Rabbi Goldsmith's letter summarizing the last 30 days on Itamar:

Dear Friends it has been slightly over a month now since the terrible nightmare that struck our community resulting in the slaughter of Harav Udi, Ruty, Yoav, Elad and Hadas HYD. It has been a very difficult time for all of us here on Itamar. The community has been working very hard in all realms. Our number one concern, at the moment, is to assure that our town has the proper security it needs in order to protect itself from, G-D forbid, future attacks. We have been turning to all those who can make a difference. Our voice has been heard from the Prime minister and down; it is our hope that Israeli government will take the important steps that will enhance our security. In addition, despite our town's financial limitations, Itamar has made some significant changes on the ground which have strengthened our security situation.

On top of this, we have been focusing on the emotional stability of our community as well. Itamar, which has unfortunately suffered more terror attacks than any other community in Israel, must make sure that our residents feel happy and secure. Our youth as well as adults have been receiving counseling and therapy. We have been providing many community and youth activities in order to shed off the feelings of pain and sorrow. This week our youth went on a two day Bnei Akivah hike up north and the focus was on dealing with tragedy. Tamar Fogal participated in the trip together with other Itamar orphans. These amazing children spoke with so much pride and understanding. They are very aware of their important role in building the land of Israel. Of course, they cried together with their friends as they spoke about their precious loved ones. Tamar told about her brother Yoav that when driving through a local village with his parents opened the door of the car and put his foot on the ground. When asked why he did this his response was a verse from Joshuah 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread I have given to you, as I said to Moses."

As we approach our precious Pesach Holiday, we can reflect upon how from slaves in Egypt we became a free nation with the important mission of declaring G-D's word from our precious home land in Eretz Yisrael. Just as a seed before it grows into a plant it must break down and rot and only then will it root and spring forth with beauty and splendor, so to the redemption process! After the ashes of the Holocaust the state of Israel was reestablished. This terrible tragedy on Itamar as well, is no way a personal tragedy. We have been targeted because we are on the front line representing all of Israel. We are hated because we are not afraid to say that Hashem gave the land of Israel to His people as an everlasting inheritance. Those who deny this are denying the word of G-D. We are a peaceful people a people that love and sanctify life. There is no doubt that from this horrific nightmare a great growth spurt will be triggered bringing us all closer to redemption.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith

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