Friends of Itamar

Leah's BlogLeah’s blog – A  New Sweet Year – Rosh Hashanah 2023

Leah’s blog – A  New Sweet Year – Rosh Hashanah 2023

Leah’s blog – A  New Sweet Year – Rosh Hashanah 2023

As a part of a plan I had for Shlomo’s Bar Mitzvah project, I wanted to do something fun and meaningful but impacting in a way that he matures through pro action. It’s hard to enter the mind of a thirteen year old having to deal with it, but the way to anywhere from Itamar and into city centers here in Israel is through the terror den of Huwara. So if it’s through Huwara- let’s see how we little people on the ground can make the world a better place. This was and is my goal. Like I always say, they kill- we build; but unfortunately they build as well (choke points and dread corners) now like never before. We must counter this evil and teach our children mussar and chesed in the face of hate and violence. The Jewish men women and children that live in this region of the heart of Israel, literally holding down the peg that holds it all together pledge allegiance to this sacred ground. So we belt up, carry, have vigilance and remember the vows our forefathers took right here in this place.

I wanted to share with Shlomo a great living story of sweetness in this bitter town.

We went to the little shop outside the gas station at Ariel. Shlomo picked the best quality watermelon flavored ices, individually wrapped and stuffed a bag full. Expensive- our soldiers are worth it. Suddenly there is another realm to reality as soldiers surface in the hazy heat. They are stationed to protect us. The sweat pours from their helmets as Shlomo rolls the window down and passes out delicious ices to every soldier he sees and he blesses them. This is the IDF- one day he will be that soldier as well. Through the checkpoints, pillboxes, guards, commandos and officers, more and more smiles appear on soldiers faces. It was Shlomo’s time to give back and he was loving it. With Bohemian Rhapsody on the car speakers how could he not. He felt safer and a part of something far bigger than fear; it was his first exposure to opera.

There are two ways to look at life. Choose to sweeten it. Lo Bashamayim Hee– It is not in the heavens- the message of the New Year approaching is all about that.  The apple dipped in honey, the shofar blowing reminding us now- take a hold of yourself! Step out of the zone of passive accepting. This is the time as the wind stirs the autumn leaves, the time stirs in us- it feels good! Now is the time that those that have pulled away, assimilated, sunk into despair and lost touch with happiness feel a rush of remembering, a tinge of the old world of synagogue and Zaida. The shofar call pulls us back in. Mesorah lives on, a new year is upon us, a new page in the book of life. The future is wide open- what can we do to make it sweet for someone else?

This is a time of festival, a time of harvest, a time of opportunity, a time to do a sweet thing. Many wonderful things happened on Rosh Hashanah: our matriarchs conceived, Yosef Hatzaddik was released from prison, a time of liberation. Rosh Hashana enables a restart, a time to “rise above” life’s challenges, tests and tribulations. Now also Shlomo has a wider perception and sees a larger picture in the complicated mosaic of life. If you too feel helpless and pangs of even desperation about things like we do about Huwara, step out of the sluggish realm now into a deeper level of pro-action about it. Living with terrorism on a daily basis is certainly one of the most trying of experiences yet Shlomo now knows and sees others parts to this picture and how he too can make a difference. A simple act can change a reality. The world relies on lovingkindness.

In this holiday season help make Friends of Itamar our 501c3 impact the continuous return to our homeland right here in the heart of Israel. This is a great opportunity to be a part of restoration and put smiles on the faces of all the brave people living here. Together we can do this. Wishing our dear friends a happy and healthy New Year. May 5784 be filled with all goodness, sweetness, overflowing blessings for you and your loved ones! I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your amazing generosity and care. May the next year shine down upon you with wonderful fabulous things!

שנה טובה ומתוקה!





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