This week began with the very sad day of Tisha B’Av. We mourned the destruction of our two temples and the modern destruction and expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria. On the night of Tisha B’Av a terrible forest fire broke out as a result of an attempt of terrorists to enter the nearby community of Elon Moreh. The fire was caused by flares that were fired by the security team. Unfortunately, we can add to it the two houses that were destroyed this week in the community of Beit El. It has been a very rough week here in Israel marked with violence and tragedy in many different aspects. Things are so turbulent and seem to be getting worse every day. At times like these, we must strengthen ourselves spiritually and work on bringing holiness into our lives. Watch Rabbi Goldsmith’s Torah lesson for the week where he relates to these issues.
This Monday we celebrated a very rare Mitzvah on Itamar – the redeeming of a first born male donkey. The Torah teaches us that a first born donkey must be redeemed with a lamb. The lamb is then given to a Cohen (priest). What is so special about a first born donkey? Our Rabbis teach us that the donkeys help the Jews leave Egypt by carrying the heavy loads of Israel’s possessions when leaving. Since they helped us in our redemption they have a special holiness to them and are deserving of being redeemed. We can learn an important lesson from this that if an animal was rewarded for doing his part in redemption all the more so a human being who helps bring about redemption by building the land will be greatly rewarded.
We were happy to host on Itamar over a hundred university students mainly from the USA that are participating in a program called “Onward Israel” part of the – “Israel Experience”. They came to hear about life on Itamar.
Mazal Tov to Amir and Miriam Yosmin on the brit Milah of their baby boy today.