We are celebrating the month of Nissan, the month of spring and Freedom.
What a better time to come and visit the Shomron, the place where Am Yisrael became a nation in the Land. From the mountains of Itamar you can see in the distance, facing east- the very place the beginning point of Am Yisrael in EretzYisrel at the Gilgal. We will be reading this Pesach in the haftara from the book of Joshua Chapter 5 that deals with the first days in the land when passing through the Jordan ” And the children of Israel encamped at Gilgal and made Pesach on the fourteenth of Nissan at evening at Arvot Jericho”. Gilgal is located just east of Jericho. It was there that Joshua set up the twelve stones Am Yisrael took from the Jordan. This very special place has been recorded in masechet Sotah (LD, alef) that the chachamim of Yavneh during that time of the destruction of the Second Temple stood upon those stones to reiterate the connection we have to our everlasting covenant with the Land of Israel.
And now too, the people of Israel are reiterating their covenant with the Land. We have been blessed by so much love and support that we so greatly need to continue on in redeeming the Land and making a more ready place for Israel and the world. Some of the very special projects going on in the last few weeks have been our partnership with the Bnei Israel Matzoh Fund, singlehandedly run by Alan Hirsch of Brooklyn NY. The Friends of Itamar would like to take this opportunity to thank him and his dear wife, Barbara for their incredible misiroot nefesh in a project that has entailed phone calls and many of them in the middle of the night just to ask what else are the needs of people before Pesach. Organizing grape juice, matzohs, matzoh meal, chickens, wine, meat and more plus a stipend for even more assistance goes beyond the measure of tzeddakah, and from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean (!)- it is complete self-sacrifice. We have personally had the zechut of actually distributing this abundance right here from Itamar, the Land of Yosef HaTzaddik- the brother who fed all of his brothers. We believe that this mitzvah and the mitzvoth that you do will bring only blessings!
A huge thank you to Jessica Katz from Yad Leah in Passaic New Jersey for the constant influx of clothing that people so look forward to enjoying, especially before this chag. Thank you and your dear family so much- Chag Kasher vesameyach!
A very important mitzvah that we are called to do is to tell the story of our redemption. “Vehigadita lebincha” – “Tell your child on that day” (Exodus 13, 8) Our forefathers acquired freedom, but not just in the generation of the Exodus but FOR ALL GENERATIONS! This “story” too is reiterated every year at this time because there is always something new that has happened as we look back and evaluate the past year. Here on Itamar we have seen tremendous growth. When people come for a tour they are amazed at the new homes, the yeshiva dorms, the almost complete palatial new synagogue and please Hashem- we are planning on building for the coming year a new educational campus.
In the hope of the complete redemption we would like to wish all of our dear friends a Happy and Healthy Pesach, Shabbat Shalom, Leah Goldsmith
Watch Rabbi Goldsmith’s new lesson on Shabbat Hagadol