Six and a half years ago my son and daughter-in-law found a cake waiting for them on their doorstep. Attached to it was a supportive note* that subsequently hung on my refrigerator for months. The impetus for that cake was the grisly murders of their neighbors, Rut and Udi Fogel and three of the Fogel children, Yoav, Elad, and baby Hadas in Itamar. The cake and other similar expressions of support made my family understand that they were not alone in their grief. So when the email recently went out on the Shilo list offering to take gifts to the people of Neve Tzuf I didn’t hesitate to prepare a cake tray.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Tu B'Av: Written Six years Earlier
Among the many reasons we chose to make Shilo our home was the agricultural connection that the community had. When we first came twenty-four years ago there were several herds of sheep, a number of fruit orchards, and it was not unusual to hear chickens clucking in neighbour’s gardens. A few years later the planting of the grapes began.
Now about a half a dozen Shilo families own and are responsible for their vineyards. Even an American family, who wants to have a share in the Torah laws applicable to working the Land of Israel, owns a grove. Fifteen years ago the family hired a manager to clear the land and set up the irrigation system. After working for two weeks, he hired ten teenagers to do the planting and my oldest daughter was among them. She remembers getting up early in the morning, something she usually avoided, dressing in old clothing, and spending three hours planting the 5,000 seedlings. It was hard work and the pay was minimum. Still, she has fond memories of her experience.
She also remembers how that vineyard was almost destroyed shortly after the planting. One Friday morning in August carloads of Arabs, accompanied by their reporters and cameramen, came to the fields to burn the plants and cut the pipes. Evidently they wanted a story on Arab land being stolen by Jewish settlers. That land belonged to Shilo, though, and before the grapes were planted it had been barren of anything save rocks and thorns.
Monday, July 31, 2017
My last post, The Temple Mount, ended with a number of prayers. Some were answered as I desired and some were not. I cannot complain, though. Even Moshe, our greatest prophet, was refused when he prayed to be allowed to enter the Land of Israel. And so I must believe that Hashem has His plan when He acts in ways I do not understand.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Seventeen years ago, right after Rosh Hashanah ended, our doctor in Shilo instructed me to go to a Jerusalem emergency room. The head of Shilo security, however, informed me the roads were closed to all Jews, without exception. I miscarried at home and only two days later was able to travel to see a gynecologist in the Jerusalem clinic.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Long faces greeted me when I returned from the clothesline. I’d been outside for barely five minutes but that was long enough for my little granddaughter to open the china cabinet.
“I’m sorry,” my daughter apologized.
“Is she okay?” With forty years of parenting behind me I like to think I have my priorities in order.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Beep! Beep! Beep!
Although it sounded as if a heavy truck was in reverse there was no traffic outside our small duplex. Rather the sound came from the radio and indicated that the seven o’clock morning news was beginning. We were quiet, concentrating on the commentator’s recitation in English of what was important for us to know for the day. One of the headlines brought joyous smiles to our faces.