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EIQEV 5782

08/19/2022 02:43:33 PM


I wrote about this incident 2 years ago.

As it is a personal story that is very meaningful to me, I am taking the liberty of repeating it this year:

Many years ago, I had the privilege of taking my family on a year’s sabbatical in Jerusalem.

We left Montreal on a Wednesday evening, via El Al, when it was still offering direct flights.

On the flight, I met an old friend from my home town Boston, who was traveling via Montreal, and bringing with him a Sefer Torah, to be used in a Jerusalem shul. My friend and I were traveling tourist class, but El Al gave the Torah the honour of being stored in First Class.

Thursday morning, as the plane was approaching Israel, a minyan was formed for shaharit, and after considerable pleading with the steward, he let us use the Torah. [As you know, on Thursday morning we read the first aliya of the parasha.] It seems that it was not common practice on El Al to read the Torah.

Actually, we would never have been allowed to do it, were it not for the fact that one of the minyan people was a writer for an Israeli newspaper, and promised the steward that he would write a glowing article about El Al if we were given permission.

Someone asked if anyone knew how to read the Torah, so I volunteered. It happened to be this week’s parasha: `eiqev. As I came to the last few verses, I was overcome with emotion: I’m thinking to myself: here we are, just about to land in Israel and I am reading: “For HaShem your G-d is binging you to a good land ...a land of wheat and barley and figs and pomegranates and olives and dates .. a land where you will not be lacking anything...and you will eat and be satisfied, and bless HaShem your G-d for the good land which he has given you.”

As I said, reading these words, and realizing that I was about to arrive with my wife and children in that land, was an overwhelming thought.  Indeed, the reporter wrote how I read those words with “great emotion.”

May HaShem watch over the land and its inhabitants, and protect them from illnesses, and from their enemies.

Shabbat shalom

Sun, April 2 2023 11 Nisan 5783