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Leah's BlogLeah’s Blog – Vayakhel 2024

Leah’s Blog – Vayakhel 2024

Vayakhel – March 2024

October 7 2023 which was a Shabbat and Simchat Torah had our family together as a unit which had not been possible for some time due to Yosef and Efrayim being away for a while. Our home was snug with the fullness of that togetherness, the scent of chulent in the crockpot and as the boys like to say- “The quiet of Shabbat on Itamar, there is none like it, precious.” There is a time- there is a place. We enjoy Shabbat in a blissful way, together. That shattered as the boys came rushing down the stairs at 6:30 that morning to tell me something terrible had happened in the south, unspeakable horrors. Slowly I could hear cars drive down the street below us: Men leaving for duty. I thought, unless the boys stay here to fortify the safety of this area, they too will end up in the steady stream going south- to the carnage. However the day ended, I don’t remember, but the reverberation of that still silence dashed lingers as we await the release of the hostages from the terror cages of the barbarians, as missiles fall in the Galilee and the Golan. Israel is at war, attacked from all sides.

Here it is silent now; you can even cut the peace with a knife- the fullness of it has been disturbed through time though as you remember similar events that happened not once or twice, a decade ago, two decades ago. Then the shaking, swinging and vibrating sound of too much to bear came swooshing down like the broken tablets of Moshe Rabbeinu. The Fogel family yartzeit is coming up soon HY”D. Suffering the deep pain of loss, Yishuv Itamar, thanks to your incredible support, rebuilt, and kept their memory alive by digging in even deeper creating a beautiful green Gan Eden.

October 7 2023 began a new time for Israel as a nation. Despite the evil pogrom, the castrating international diplomacy, and blatant Antisemitism, something ignited in the nation of Israel, and in many who were dormant, in many who believed peace was just up to us and even in those who just don’t care. It might seem that even as the token has fallen, we are regressing as things are so volatile on all fronts, yet the buds appear, time is evolving, soon blossoming. The enemy pushes on our borders yet this Land is expanding, redemption uncurling. Things are changing faster than pushes on Instagram. Truth is rising from the dregs of where it was swept. The “concepts” that were prevalent in placating, whether that meant disengaging (actually I mean being expelled) from our thriving communities in order to satisfy the beast, abandoning our holy places and turning them into donkey stables or maintaining status quo hold no more. Remember the time and the place –the House of Israel: the place of national uprightness, the seat of our sacred culture, the consciousness of us as a kehilla, a community – where we are all collected into one house- the Tabernacle of Hashem. The outcome of the shattered hearts of October 7 gave cause to true selflessness on the part of many individuals who thirsted to reconnect and be a part of it. Instead of showing grace to the enemy and hatred toward their fellow settler, a shard sticks now into the pain of real recognition. We as a nation stand alert now. The apprehension we felt here in the heartland is now shared by most Israelis. This is our home!


In these last Parshas of Shemot, after being built up from Abraham as an individual, to Yaakov who had the family of the tribes of Israel, through Yosef Hatzaddik and the Golden era of exile past the exodus into the giving of the Torah, also the shattering of the tablets and the dramatic after effects of this break, Israel evolves from a slave nation into a sovereign state with catastrophes and dilemmas along the way, always carrying the precious broken pieces of the tablets in the Holy Ark. The Torah never glosses over events because history repeats itself, we are not angels. Then and now too we are faced with broken pieces, broken hearts. Now in spite of all this pain, we come together as a kehilla. We mend together in one place, at this one time of restoration. Hashem says to Israel- “I will always be with you.”

Shabbat shalom, Leah



  • Tzippy

    So poignant and beautiful! You touch my soul with your words! Thank you! Shabbat Shalom!

  • Diana Brown

    Shalom and prayers for the hostages, the soldiers and their families. We are waiting for Israel to unite for good and win for hate is strong and mocks the song of Peace on earth, goodwill to men.

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