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NOAH 5784

10/20/2023 12:20:45 PM


Interesting tidbit: At the beginning of this week’s parasha, we read that the world was filled with “hamas.” That word is usually translated as “theft,” but the ancient Aramaic Targum has “hatofin,” which in modern Hebrew means kidnapping!


I am writing this on Tuesday morning. Probably, by the time you read this on Shabbat, the situation will have changed, hopefully for the better.


One of the places overrun on Simchat Torah was Nachal Oz. In case there is anyone out there who still thinks that the Arabs have nothing against Jews being in Israel, it’s just that they want a “2 state solution,” let me remind you: perhaps you remember that several months ago, in my “blog,” I wrote about the 1956 abduction and murder of security officer Roi Rotberg in Nahal Oz, and the famous eulogy delivered by Moshe Dayan, who blamed the Israelis for being lax on security matters.  Well, 1956 was 11 years before the 6-day war, before Israel had control of Gaza or Judea/Samaria or Golan, yet even then the Arabs rejected the idea of any Jewish autonomy in Erets Yisrael,


Our Israeli Chevrashasnik Malka Vann has recently completed her army duty, where she had been serving with many other young women as a “tatspanit,” stationed in one of several watchtowers on the Gaza border. Many of these women were killed on Simchat Torah, including several whom Malka had known.

Here is an excerpt from a description of the horrors, sent to me by Malka, and written by a girl who had been recruited just over a year ago, and was serving on Kisufim, the kibbutz where Malka had been stationed. I have taken the liberty of abridging and making some stylistic changes.  The young lady, Hadar Treitel, wrote that until the events of that Simchat Torah, they had thwarted many attempts at infiltration, all ending with a great feeling of pride and satisfaction.

But on that fateful Shabbat, after they realized what was happening, she wrote her mother that if she were to die, she would die proud and with a smile on her face. She described how officers were being killed, and how she was applying tourniquets to those who survived. She sees friends go out of the “chamal,” [an acronym for their work room], but never come back.

She writes: “No communications, no electricity: all dark, no bathrooms, burnt smell,” “blood on floor, terrorists on the roof,” [my apologies to CBC for using the word “terrorists,” rather than “militants,”] the way outside “all covered with dead bodies of our soldiers.”

Finally, relief forces arrived, they are rescued. “Today, safe and sound at home, I realize that there is no other place for us on earth, we have each other, and a long way to go.  Keep praying, believe, and be optimistic.” “May the memory of those that lost their lives be eternally blessed.”

Sadly, many of the girls were not as fortunate as Hadar.  “HaShem yiqqom daman.”

May we hear only good news. Shabbat shalom ve-shalom `al Yisrael

Rabbi Menahem White

Tue, May 21 2024 13 Iyyar 5784