Almost three weeks ago looking out from Alon Shvut,
we knew Eyal, Gilad and Naftali were there,
but we were not sure if they were still alive.
This week the sad news was broken that their bodies were found,
Rav Adin Steinsaltz’s statement is worth sharing:
“A dark cloud has befallen our nation today. Our hearts are broken, yet united with the hearts of the boys’ families, as we mourn and we cry with them. We cannot erase the evil. But we can create good. We can transform the world through goodness by living as Jews and acting as Jews, with our Torah and mitzvot.”
The crowd to get on shuttle buses from Modi’in to the funeral,
was so large I had held up my camera to try to get a photo.
Not all those trying to get to the cemetery were young,
but only the quickest and pushiest could get on a bus.
I kept thinking this would certainly would never do in England.
Buses lined the way to the cemetery, while
thousands of people walked and filled the road.
Short cut? I am not sure,
but more buses and more people were as far as one could see.
It was hot, people were so crowded,
but I heard no reports of violence.
Most reports were of sharing water and food
or lending a hand or literally a shoulder to rest on.
A big thanks goes to the hatzalah driver who gave me water.
This was as close as I could get, and again had to hold my camera high.
I never planned to be out for eight hours until 11:00 pm,
but I am certain many got home much later.
What a week,
smoking forest fires, rioting in Shuafat, and talk of revenge.
Awful news filled much of the headlines,
but as always there is more happening in Jerusalem, Israel.
I finally got to the beach,
the Jerusalem beach that opened in First Station.
Unlike the last attempt bringing a beach to Jerusalem,
there is not only lots of sand, but also water,
and on a quiet night even a place to play soccer.
Also for many this week,
soccer was not just for little kids,
it is Mondial.
The AACI celebration for Canada Day and July 4th this afternoon
has expanded to include all olim at a Salute to OLIM Fair.
It is hot and it is a difficult time now, however,
we have friends who are on their way across the US to make aliyah.
They sold their beautiful home in California,
to follow their dream.
Too bad they will not make it in time for the concert today,
but they can join us next year in Jerusalem.