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11/04/2022 01:15:08 PM


So.... Israeli elections were held this past week (again?!). Some were certainly very happy with the outcome, others very worried. We wish the government much hatslacha.

Nachal Oz is a kibbutz located very close to the Gaza border. Back in 1956, there were many infiltrations of Gazans, who came to steal the crops that had been growing in the fields. The kibbutz security officer, a young man named Roi Rotberg, went out, on the day of Lag Ba`Omer, unarmed, to chase them away. He was​ ambushed, shot and killed, his body mutilated.

Defense Ministre Moshe Dayan delivered the eulogy, in a speech later considered by many as Israel's Gettysburg address. 

In part, he said:

It is not among the Arabs in Gaza, but in our own midst that we must seek Roi's blood.... Beyond the furrow of the border, a sea of hatred and desire for revenge is swelling, awaiting the day when serenity will dull our path, for the day when we will heed the ambassadors of malevolent hypocrisy who call upon us to lay down our arms. Roi's blood is crying out to us and only to us from his torn body.   This is our life's choice - to be prepared and armed, strong and determined, lest the sword be stricken from our fist and our lives cut down. The young Roi who left Tel Aviv to build his home at the gates of Gaza to be a wall for us was blinded by the light in his heart and he did not see the flash of the sword. The yearning for peace deafened his ears and he did not hear the voice of murder waiting in ambush. The gates of Gaza weighed too heavily on his shoulders and overcame him."


According to Rashi's first comment on the Torah, the whole purpose of the Book of Genesis is to teach that HaShem created the world, so that when people will say to us that we had no right to be in Erets Yisrael, we can answer that He apportioned a small sliver of that world for the Jewish people.

Indeed, in this week's parasha, HaShem tells Avram "...arise, walk around the Land, its length and breadth, for I have given it to you."

May there be peace in Israel and in the world. Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Menahem White

Sun, April 14 2024 6 Nisan 5784