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Leah’s Blog Parashat Miketz

Leah’s Blog – Miketz – December 2023  – this blog is dedicated to the compete Refuah of Aryeh Menachem Moshe ben Deena Tovah

Unlike most of you, I love winter. It’s a time I light amber candles and the dryer hums in fuzzy warm satisfaction. I like wearing sweatshirts and snuggling up to the cold. Still, the chill adds a pinch of excitement to the atmosphere. I like putting a hot water bottle on me as I watch my favorite show, Patriots (on channel 14) from nine to eleven every night. I love fairy lights shining in the background. Our house is one of hot coffee, hot tea and hopefully when I get to it, delicious hot soups. It’s our logo. I love to watch the clouds swirl around the moon as well as the amazing skies here in Israel during the day. But most of all, I have always loved staring at the candles. Tonight is the last night of Chanukah, the menorah will be complete in the fullest possible light, the luminescence brimming over is only for us to enjoy as it says: ואין לנו רשות להשתמש בהם. (We can’t use it for any other purposes) Chanukah couldn’t have come at a better time. Remembering the spirit and meaning of the soul of each candle and the wars the Maccabees fought against the Hellenists who encouraged assimilation and the worship of idols. It was a war fought in the cold much like the war we are fighting right now, a war re -establishing our nationalism as the anchor of Judaism. In Greek times the academia was much of the same that we see today. Jews that stood with woke are now the targets of it. History always repeats itself.

Soon the lights will be put away in the box of dreidels, menorahs, art projects and colored candles till next year. Darkness will replace that light and I am apprehensive of it. The nights of Tevet are long and dark, sometimes even too dark for me. As time moves on it seems to all of us, even me, that the days are getting darker. An inner voice says: “illuminate”. The sight of those candles together remind me of our collective responsibility as we delve into the next hard cold phase of this war that no nation is indifferent to. Jews around the world now view the horrors of the terror pits and must take a stance. Our soldiers stand in cold sand and mud. From the depths of the earth they recover bodies of the slain and bring them to kever Yisrael (Jewish burial). The souls of our soldiers quiver above the earth like lights in the darkness, purifying the unclean. When they come back to the above ground level they witness heaven and earth in a kiss and resuscitate in a cold breath. No we are not dreaming but it can seem like a nightmare. As much as you try to visualize a beast throwing a grenade as the sons and fathers here shoot back, only the depths of the earth can know how we do not succumb to this darkness. Our soldiers are Jewish warriors, sights that not everyone feels comfortable with- both Jew and gentile has known us differently in the last two thousand years. One nation, something is born now in this earth, from this blood, a new kind of Jew. As we now roll in the dust of tribulation and sorrow, something is sprouting. Something in this darkness takes a new form. When we walk away from this war we will resemble King David, Samson, and Bar Kochbah, but this time for keeps.

Here we stand vigil. The sparks of prophecy persist and ignite.

At the end of this fiscal year we would like to thank you for all the goodness you have given us here at Friends of Itamar, providing urgent relief in so many ways. Thank you for making sure everyone here is ready to brave this winter and prepare for next spring! WE LOVE YOU!

Happy Holidays xoxoxoxoxoxoxox Shabbat Shalom! BLESSINGS! Leah


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