Dear Readers,

A cousin posted this on our family chat:

I spoke with my niece in Jerusalem this morning, and she told me a story that demonstrates the unity of our nation.

This past Shabbat, exactly a week after the horrific attack by Hamas, as her husband and other men were leaving their apartments to go to synagogue, their neighbors, who are not normally Shabbat observant, were also running out. They said they were going to patrol and guard a post in their neighborhood.

My nephew and his friends said, “We’ll go with you.”

The neighbors replied, “No, your job right now is to go to synagogue and pray for us.”

The war in Israel has brought out such an overwhelming feeling of unity. Unity means realizing and appreciating the unique contribution of every individual. There are many ways that we can achieve our common goal. The important thing is to remember that we are a special nation with a special destiny, appointed with the mission of bringing light and G‑dliness to our world.

In this week’s Torah portion, we read about Abraham, the father of every Jew. G‑d commands Abraham, “Go forth from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house … to the land that I will show you.”

Abraham travels to what would become the Promised Land and builds an altar there. Rashi explains that Abraham built the altar to thank G‑d for His two promises: that he would have children and that he would be given the land of Israel.

In addition to promising Abraham that the Holy Land would belong to him and his children, G‑d’s command was to go forth from his finite self and discover his true, higher self, which is one with G‑d. Abraham was not fazed by the corruption around him, nor was he intimidated by the evil. He accepted the Divine mission, “to go,” to become G‑d’s messenger and teach the world Divine consciousness and morality.

From the moment that G‑d instructed Abram to leave his homeland and set out on his journey, the process of cosmic refinement began.

As Abraham’s descendants, we are each entrusted with this mission. When darkness and evil surround us, we need to double down on adding light.

As the war continues in Israel, we each need to do our part. For the soldiers, that means physically fighting our enemies, while for many of us, it means adding in prayers, mitzvot or donations to our brothers and sisters.

With heartfelt prayers for each and every one of our soldiers, and wishes for the safety and security of all our brethren in Israel and the world over,

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW