Sunday, March 09, 2008

Despite It All: Rejoicing in Adar

(From Jameel, crossposted at The Muqata)

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