by Rabbi Moshe Kempinski, July 17, 2004
Yesterday Itamar's commander put him on a jeep and ordered him to arrive at the airport.  Itamar's unit was heavily involved
in security related activities, but his commander knew that Itamar's brother was arriving that day with hundreds of other new
immigrants from North Ameica.

Itamar protested his commander's decision and offered to stay with his unit.  His commander would not hear it.  His commander
sensed almost subconciously, what all the residents of Israel sensed deeply in their souls.  That sense was that welcoming a
brother who was making aliyah to this emotionally beseiged land was in fact also a form of serving our country.

Yesterday over four hundred new immigrants arrived on the Nefesh B' Nefesh (Soul to Soul) project.  Grown men bent to kiss
the tarmac as they stepped off the plane.  Hardened Israelis had tears in their eyes as they welcomed their spiritual brothers and
sisters with song and fanfare. 

The Eilberg family, Nachum and Penina came off the plane with their four children holding a Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll).  This
scroll had wandered the world alongside the Jewish people from Poland and had migrated to America.  The Torah Scroll that
had belonged to the Ostrover-Kalishe Rebbe, their great grandfather was handed down through the generations.  This scroll as
well had finally come home.

Prime Minister Sharon spoke to the new Olim and said,
"Encouraging Aliyah and absorbing olim is the foundation for the future of the Jewish people.  Israel is the only place in the world where it is possible for Jews to fully live as Jews.  Only here, every Jew can be sure that his children and grandchildren will be Jews, forever."

Those were powerful words.

Yet Jewish history and this people's Destiny will not be judged by words but by action.  Capitulating to the whims of terrorism
because of a concern that the Jewish people in Israel will not have the strength or stamina to fight this war of terrorism is not the message of Jewish history nor of its Destiny.

Sharon ended his speech with the following words,
"I have faith in you, the State of Israel is behind you, and the Jewish people
are counting on you.  We need you here more than ever before."

He is right.  It is a family carrying a Torah in their bosom and a military commander who has not lost a sense of priorities and
a crowd of Israelis that are moved by the singing of the national anthem that will carry the day.

We need them here now more than ever.

moshe kempinski 
Our thanks to Yoni Kempinski and Mark Kaplan of the INN news staff for their input
A journal of insights, stories and torah thoughts from Jerusalem's Old City
A project of shorashim of the Old City - Tiferet Israel 3 - Jerusalem  97500 - tel:  011-972-2-628-9729
Return to Aliyah Page