Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Seventh of Marcheshvan

Today is the day we that start to request rain in the silent prayer, at least here in the land of Israel. Although the rainy season officially begins on Shemini Atzeret, when we start to say "Mashiv HaRuach U'Morid HaGeshem", we waited until now so that all the American Jewish tourists Babylonian Jews could return safely to their dwellings in America Babylon without being rained upon.

Perhaps this is a good time to look back at the holiday season that was. Here are a few observations:

1) You get out of it what you put into it. If you made an effort to get up early in Elul to say Selichot, if you devoted time to really reflect on your deeds, if you made an effort to change, if you fulfilled the mitzvot of Sukkot properly, I have no doubt that you were spiritually uplifted.

2) I had the opportunity do daven in the rebuilt Churva synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was really special. They have an interesting custom of not saying "Baruch Hu U'Varuch Shmo" during the repetition of the silent prayer. This I was told, was in keeping with the custom of the Gaon of Vilna. There is a certain atmosphere of splendor and honor that gave me a slight idea of what it might be like to daven in the Temple, may it speedily be rebuilt!

3) The Old City was packed with tourists from all over the world. BDS is a real big failure!

4) The Western Wall was packed with worshipers. The facilities available here have greatly improved over the years.

5) I was also in the City of David. That place has changed so much since in the almost three decades that I have been here. The more they dig there the more they reveal the ancient city of Jerusalem, much to the chagrin of the Arabs and the leftists. The City of David, like the Old City, was packed with tourists.

7) We are progressing towards full redemption, little by little. So I say to you Jews living abroad what Moses said to his father in law, " 'We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said: I will give it you; come thou with us, and we will do thee good; for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.' "

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