Dear Readers, A few years ago, my husband and I and some of our children went to demonstrate against the disengagement from Gaza- what in essence was actualized in the dismantling of Gush Katif and handing over that exquisite place to Chamas. On the way we drove through Ashkelon amazed at the beautiful marina on the sea and the luxury apartment buildings that have sprouted up over the last 2 decades. There were dove shaped, blue signs everywhere – “Ashkelon is for peace”. It was the blues of “peace” and the oranges of “no Land for “peace” ” in those days. People still wear their symbolic orange strings. They hang in people’s cars, on pocketbooks, knapsacks, doorways….but the blue signs in Ashkelon have been replaced with emergency sirens and posters with instructions about what to do in case of bombs falling. What a spring! The struggle for the Land of Israel continues. It is so painful when you think about how all of this could have been prevented if only there had been enough foresight. The south of Israel is exploding , the north – always an imminent cloud hovering over its communities and their safety, terrorists in the form of “Israeli citizens” born and bred in Jerusalem, exploding in the country’s capital in our yeshivas. We say and continue to say that we only console ourselves with those healthy minded individuals like you that love the Land of Israel. We, here in Itamar, in the very heart of the country – the heart that provides life sustenance to the entire body, can’t emphasize how important it is to be involved in helping to change the situation. We have to spread the word as much as we can. Spring with Purim and Passover on the way is a time of birth. A nation is born and has a mission to accomplish. A person is also born into reality with a target destination, much like a person born into a ship at sea. Sometimes the sea is tranquil, sometimes stormy- we don’t know why the weather fluctuates or even when we will reach port. So, we can act in three ways- 1) some people decide to jump off the ship and swim away from it, avoiding their reality and destiny and their connection to their crew. 2) some will play chess, drink beer, wherever the ship sways – so be it, go with the flow, but avoid effort or strategic thinking 3) and some people will take “the bull by the horns” and grab the oars to help direct the ship to its destiny. Grab an oar – let’s work together, with Hashem’s help, for the future of nation, the Land, and dock at the final redemption!

Purim Sameach Leah Goldsmith Itamar

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