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It"s difficult to it is in upbeat as soon as you space surrounded with enemies, terror, hatred and also death. However there is lot to it is in thankful for.

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"Mah nishma?" is the Hebrew variation of "What"s new?" It"s one innocuous, universal greeting i beg your pardon needn"t typical much more than a pass hello. The answer offered is generally Baruch Hashem -- give thanks to God, which can mean anything native "Great!" to "Don"t also ask. My adversaries should have actually my troubles!" Often, ~ above hearing a dubious sounding Baruch Hashem, the questioner will respond with, "Gee, what"s wrong?"

At one momentous point in mine life, ns promised myself that i would always respond v a hearty and also cheerful Baruch Hashem. I"d average it, and if i didn"t, I"d speak it as if ns did (which I"m certain my innermost soul always does. It"s simply that there space so countless outermost components which variable in and also influence us!) after ~ all, even when life doesn"t fulfill all our expectations and also things are not quite perfect (how many things in life room perfect?); and also even in times of good sorrow and also distress, there space still countless things to be thankful for, things which worthy a hearty Baruch Hashem.

I will admit, however, the these previous two year in Israel have tested my resolve, and my Baruch Hashem"s have often been lacking in gusto. No that i am no cognizant that the many miracles i m sorry accompany united state every day; not that i am no thankful sufficient for the plenty of blessings ns enjoy. But it"s difficult to be upbeat when you space surrounded through enemies, terror, hatred and also death; through actual attacks and the anxiety of suspect ones.

The funny component is that once my spirits room low, one point that really helps is driving under to spend Shabbat through our kids in Gush Katif, a bloc the eleven Jewish neighborhoods in the Gaza area. (I hesitate to say "settlements." The people has turned Jewish "settling" in the holy Land right into a sin, return America to be "settled", together was Canada, as were scores of various other countries roughly the world.) Historically, in biblical times, Gaza was component of the inheritance that the tribe of Judah. The city kept a Jewish population after the damage of the Temple, throughout the center Ages and up till the 20th century (1938) when 4 synagogues still functioned.

The Israeli military is working overtime, but so space God"s guardian angels!

Once in Katif, even with the extremely visible existence of the Israeli army, through tanks, checkpoints and nightly shootings together background "music," serenity returns. Probably it"s the pure, blue, unpolluted sky; or the sound the the tide on the shore. Or probably the endless white residences with red roofs dotting the landscape, surrounding by green fields, flowers, trees, and also miles that plastic extended hothouses whereby bug-free vegetable (now a staple of kashrut in Israel) space grown. Or probably it"s just the numerous children, as totally free and happy and also at home as a Jewish son in the soil of Israel must be. Everything the reason, regardless of the proximity of Gaza and also Rafiach and also Khan Yunis, Katif is the closest I"ve involved Biblical serenity -- "Ish tachat gafno v"tachat t"eynato" -– every Jew under his promised vine and also fig tree. That course, return real, it"s still part vision, component dream; but hope is endemic to the person psyche and dreams fuel the human being soul.

Once there, i refill my spirituality batteries. I look in ~ the children and also the growing populace (new people are relocating in all the time) and also the brand-new synagogue being constructed in mine son"s ar (the old one doesn"t even have stand room anymore) and also I trust that an excellent Lord has His ever-open eye top top the place. In fact, although close to 2000 mortar shells have actually been shoot into, over, within of and also around Jewish homes, schools and also fields in the area in the previous two years, only one to be the cause of a death! no one did the shells reason serious injuries of any kind of kind. Deaths and also injuries did undoubtedly occur, the an outcome of terrorist attacks, shootings or mines. Lock were dreadful enough, but even they consisted of only a tiny fraction of the possible fatalities when compared to the huge number of terrorist do the efforts which take it place. The Israeli army is functioning overtime, however so space God"s guardian angels!

Still, I admit that life in a continuous state the semi-war and anxiety is not simple thing to do. After September 11, every location in the people is fraught with danger, but there is no doubt that Sinat Eisav -– the hatred of Esau for his brother Jacob -- focuses on the most vital point in the world "body" -– the heart. That"s us -- the Jewish human being in the floor of Israel. However we don"t rubbish too lot time feeling despondent. Perhaps due to the fact that we feel privileged. As soon as times space difficult, as they room now, us remind ourselves the this, too, is component of a long, historic process leading come peace, come a better world, come the last Redemption. Below in Eretz Yisrael, the divine Presence is palpable. Because we are so acutely mindful that we "walk through God" and live our lives under the protective wing of the Shechina, we proceed to walk forward through faith and also trust. We room the right world in the ideal place.

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With God"s help, we will certainly arrive in ~ our destination.

Yaffa Ganz © 2003