Sunday, March 09, 2008

Despite It All: Rejoicing in Adar

Several years ago during the "height" of the current Intifada, my settlement was not spared the horror of a terror attack.

Shootings on the roads, infiltrations into settlements, bombers on buses, attacks on yeshivot and high schools were the norm. Families would borrow bullet proof vests from the "Gemach" (free loan organization) just to drive around on the roads. All the school buses were quickly bulletproofed and our roads were pock marked by the heavy treads of IDF APCs.

Difficult times.

Our kitat konenut (Rapid Response CTU) was on alert alot those days, and we were all still reeling from the terror attack at home.

And then, one Friday night as we were sitting around the Shabbat dinner table (I believe we were in the middle of soup) there was a knock at the door.

One of our children went to the door to open it, and his eyes widened unexpectedly as the Rav of our community was at the door. Walking through the door, he started singing "misheh, misheh, misheh", the ubiquitous song heralding the start of the joyous Adar month. Trailing after him were about 30 neighbors; men, women, children, all dancing and singing into our home on Friday night...circling our dining room table, they sang and danced. I quickly grabbed our youngest, plopped him on my shoulders, and joined in the dancing, as did all our children, around the dining room table and living room.

After a few minutes, our Rav led the group to the next home on his list, and we joined in.

For close to an hour, we would go from home to home (as our group of dancers grew to close to 80 people), knocking at doors and dancing in -- as our Rav tried to heal some of the sadness and tragedy that affected our community.

That was a few years back; but the tradition continues.

Despite the awful terror attack on Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav this past Thursday night, the ongoing Katyusha rockets, and the bittersweet times we are experiencing these days in Israel, this past Friday night there came the same knock at the door, and dozens came in singing and dancing.

The soup was already cold when we returned home, as our group had grown to almost a hundred people as we continued to make house after house "smile" as we danced around their dining rooms.

I heard on the radio this morning one of the rabbanim from the Merkaz HaRav high school who said, "human beings were created to endure pain...death and mourning is part of life."

No one ignores the pain of the terror, no one forgets the mourning.

But we can't forget the message of Adar. We survived our enemies back then on Purim and we will continue to survive and flourish, today, and in the future.

A Joyous Month of Adar to all of Israel.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Anonymous said...

we live in neve daniel, the home of one of the boys killed. we've only been here a year - the rav of our shul also made a point of making the congregants get up and dance around the bimah quite a few times on friday night.

i never would have understood 'why' in chutz l'aretz. but then in chutz l'aretz, i never would have cried all morning, the day after it happened.

it's one of the those things impossible to explain, but hard as it is, i would much rather be here and 'feeling' then be anywhere else, and not.

Veev said...

Your stories make me want to live on a Yishuv.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Veev: I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Anonymous: It's always better to live the pulse of evolving Jewish history than to watch from the sidelines. Glad you like Neve Daniel...its a great place (and you have the best chance for snow in the winter in Central Israel :)

orieyenta said...

A wonderful post and a well needed reminder. If we allowed these senseless acts of terrorism to make us forget the message of Adar, the terrorists would indeed have an unitentional victory to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend in neve daniel ariyeh adi.. was walking with him at the masah levaya..

The kids here in chevron did the mishe mishe mishe dancing..

Special Ed said...

Friday morning the last thing I wanted to do was feel Simchas Adar. I was in tears after seeing the pictures and couldn't fathom a Rosh Chodesh Hallel.

I remembered the words of the Megillah and hope they ring true for all of us.

Hachodesh asher nehpach lahem miyagon lsimcha u'meieivel l'yom tov.

Anonymous said...

One of the radio stations interviewed Rav Ariel on Fri morning. He got on the radio, and gave the interviewer a big "chodesh tov!".

The interviewer was speechless.

Baila said...

I'm trying, I'm really trying...

And yes, it is so much better being here than on the sidelines.

RivkA with a capital A said...

I'm trying too.

It's hard sometimes.

They cancelled the Rosh Hodesh Adar celebrations at my kids' elementary school on Friday.

They did them today, but it's not the same....

SaraK said...

Thanks for the beautiful post. It was very hard to "get in the mood" on Friday. But "Lakol zman, V'Et..."

... Is the Window to Our Soul said...

Thanks for the uplifting post, especially your message at the end.

In our shul, the Rabbi and Cantor stand in the middle section, just to the side of the mechitza. This past Saturday morning, instead of sitting in the back, I sat near the front row. Standing there, looking backwards, past the mechitza, I had the perfect view. It was so hauntingly beautiful watching all these men praying, swaying, emotions pouring out of the Rabbi and others. The moment was so surreal and full of pride - it was as I was witnessing the souls of centuries of Jews praying.

Your message at the end of your post reminded me of that moment.

Anonymous said...

WOW, I am almost speachless,(and with that I will now ramble) Mi K'amcha Yisroel, thru pain and suffering and in times of simcha, our Achdus groes to no bounds.
To hear such stories gives others chizuk, as last week on JM in the AM when they were still looking for R' Zev Segal ZT"L, the radio announcer said, in times of simcha and especially in times of distress, who look to our rabonim for chizuk and not to try to understand a situation but rather how to mechazek from it.
The Belzer Rebbe and the Satmar Rebbe have both said the buchrim where kedoshim and that it was a great tragedy no matter what the difference in Haskafos are.
as the Mishne Brura says, it is a mitzvah to be marbim besimcha in Adar, meaning we should already be besimcha and add to tha.
HaMakom Yinachem...the "Place" should bring comfort, what place? Eretz Hakadosh, which we see such moving stories as the one with your Rov who makes sure to bring simcha and achdus at difficult times.

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