Leah’s Blog Parashat Miketz
Parshat Miketz – 2021
Back in the mid-eighties the mountain ridge we had come to here in Israel’s heartland gave us a sense of being on top of the world. Plunked unto the bald peak like a bird of prey letting go of us, we stood looking out to view and seemed to holler into the open air, “Honey I’m home!” Really, that’s how we felt! How long had this mountain been abandoned? Freezing winters of snow and sleet, invading armies, hot chamsin winds of summer, the oak forests decimated, not one nation able to make it flourish. Just digging in a mere inch had artifacts in our hands of days gone by -that our kingdom, our people that lived right here thousands of years ago. The land had had a long, long sleep. When he was a child, I’m sure my father never dreamed this could actually happen and surely not to his own daughter. But appearances mean more than one thing- ambiguity is a fact of life. The story of Israel is wrapped in an atmosphere, this is what makes it shine. Desires of the soul are laced with memory that hurts, but it lives here for us- see, a piece of jug an ancestor carried- right here on this mountain. The perfect stitch, my own, with its own texture and color has me tied into this great tapestry. These are not illusions of grandeur for our own selves but for a greater picture. My father would say “don’t believe what you see Leah, See what you believe!” You have to rub your eyes many times to believe this is really happening. It is the end of an era (post holocaust) and the beginning of a new time- revival.
Miketz means just that, the end of an era. Yosef is taken out of the pit for a second time after spending dark dismal years. Pharaoh has us realizing that Yosef’s dreams were not for his own flesh and honor but they were a prophecy that matched Pharaoh’s. Yosef’s mission way surpasses that of his own placement of the wheat stalks bowing down to him. His dreams include his brothers, his nation and the world. Rippling out, every tone of his dreams touches upon mankind which is why he does not take a personal affront to the opposition. Pharoh recognized Yosef before his own brothers did. They say dreamers are not well to do people. In this case, since the dreams were part of a world mission that Yosef realized he was being utilized for, all the wealth and honor comes to him because he knows it is not his but His. Pharaoh is not only dreaming about seven years and seven years of his own fate and of Egypt’s fate but he is tying in to Yosef’s parents, into the core root of the identity of the man who served seven years and seven years for Rachel and Leah. He comes to know this special family- “Ivri Ani!” (I am a Hebrew) Yosef immediately identifies and says these talents are merely being given to him by Hashem in order to save the world. You save me- I’ll save you; it’s a reciprocal relationship.
Now too we are in a recycle process. Israel is being assessed not only by Forbes and other investors in its genius, it is morphing at an ever so fast rate and being appraised for more and more gifts being revealed. The relationship we have with the nations should be a reciprocal one. We interpret the dreams, they bless us. We will deal with the brothers later. Alas they are not the first to recognize us. We pray that soon the rebranding of the fabricated words like “territories, west bank and a plethora of made up names for this place and time will end. Perhaps our brothers will actually fall back in their seats when they realize as Yosef’s brothers did in next week’s parsha. When we unite in our root identity, the astonishing final pages of the story of the return to Israel’s spinal cord will seal the book and light up the world. Until then- we are on a mission which touches our lives in every way, our lives and yours.
Chanukah Sameyach – Shabbat Shalom, Leah
Dearest Friends as the fiscal year comes to an end, we want to thank you for standing with Friends of Itamar over the year in its important mission in building the land of Israel. By strengthening Itamar in the mountains of Samaria you have assisted in paving the way for many more Jews to be able to return to their Biblical heritage. G-d bless you all!
Three of our major projects for the coming months are listed below – We invite you to continue to be our partners in this important undertaking.
Setting up of a lone soldier house – the idea is to reach out to lone soldiers by inviting them to Itamar for Shabbatot offering them a beautiful shabbat experience and getting them connected with our community. Unfortunately, many soldiers that even come from orthodox families are at risk of pulling away from their Shmirat Mitzvot, especially lone soldiers that don’t have their families nearby. The project entails the complete restoration of an old caravan, furnishing it in a way that it will be comfortable for soldiers to spend Shabbatot in it, and setting them up with different families on Itamar for meals. This will be an ongoing project and will require paying a logistics person to recruit the soldiers, organize the Shabbatot, and see to it that the caravan is clean and in running condition. Most of the work was already done with the help of some very special friends from Europe. The estimated cost of completing the project is 30,000 dollars. The annual payment of someone in charge to run it maintain it is around ten thousand dollars.
- Yeshivah high school – Baruch Hashem after many years since the founding of our Yeshivah high school – Chitzim on Itamar we have begun the construction of a permanent campus. So far one dormitory and most of the major school building have been built. 25 million Shekels have been invested in the campus most of the money came from the Israeli ministry of education. This school is unique in that it geared for students with learning disabilities like ADHD etc. The boys are very special and the idea is to provide them with a Torah education and strengthen their learning skills helping them prepare themselves for the challenges of life. The school has over 200 students and many of them because of their difficulties need special therapy. The upper floor of the building which includes the Beit midrash and therapy rooms still needs to be completed. The money needed is a million and a half shekels. The school’s goal is to launch a fundraising campaign in Israel which we hope to raise half the funds, in order to run the campaign, we must be able to first raise the matching funds, people are much for likely to donate if they know that their donation will count twice. It goes without saying that this is an important pool of parnassa for the many teachers who live here and who will live here. Strengthening the school strengthens and enhances Jewish presence in Shomron! [ attached a picture of dedication options] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MccwUe02nGY
- Visitor’s center – we are in the process of building a visitors’ center on Itamar. One of the problems in the past when hosting tourists on Itamar is the need to find a place to host a busload or two of tourists. Itamar needs a place where tourists will be able to sit down and relax as they hear about the community. The visitors center will be able to serve as a place where visitors can have lunch and purchase products made on Itamar like wine, olive oil, perfume, and more. We are also planning a memorial wall where the Kedoshim of Itamar will be remembered. The center will be located right near Itamar’s archeological site which will facilitate easy access to the site. It goes without saying that it is needed as there is no place like this in Gav HaHar that can teach the stories of our avot – how and where they lived- right here!
Thank you for your friendship and for caring about us- Hope to see you soon!
Love and blessings always Leah and Moshe
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