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Posts Tagged ‘Hachnasat Sefer Torah’

At times it’s tough living here. Both in Israel and in this neighborhood. But I always think that just at those moments of despair, I am clearly reminded of why I’m here. Obviously there are many reasons a person chooses to live here in Israel- some are personal and some are ideological. Today I had an “AHA!” moment on my porch.

As we were playing in the living room, we heard this music coming from outside. As it louder and louder we began to see swarms of people walking in parade form outside our building! This sometimes happens in this neighborhood, as there are many synagogues here- it was a hachnassat sefer torah (or here). We all gathered to watch everyone dance by our house with the Torah under the chuppa and I started to think what a beautiful moment this is. This just doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.

Hachnasat Sefer Torah on Reiness St. Kiryat Moshe/Givat Shaul Jerusalem

Hachnasat Sefer Torah on Reiness St. Kiryat Moshe/Givat Shaul Jerusalem

I just felt bad for the guy stuck in his car trying to get out.

He's stuck in the front seat...poor guy!

He's stuck in the front seat...poor guy!

And of course, the seriousness of the moment was broken by the concentration of loonies on the roof accross the street. We had to explain to Mr. G that they were being very naughty and we do not EVER climb on rooftops. I guess their Imas didn’t warn them.

To give you perspective

To give you perspective

Closer up

Closer up

I had another moment yesterday on the drive to gan. Traffic stalled for a minute at the light and we were at the front so we could see that there was a blind person crossing the street.  But what happened next was just astounding. There was a whole line of cars making a left turn in the direction of the blind man. The cars were being led by a motorcycle (they always want to go first). The motorcyclist got off his motorcycle and stopped traffic until the man got to the other side.

There were two more lights to cross before he fully made it to the other side. So when he put out his stick to cross the second street, a man got out of his van and walked him accross the street. When he made it to the other side, the light had already turned green, but there was no honking (never happens here!) and he got back into his van and drove away.

We were still waiting at the light and I was wondering how this man was going to make it accross the third and final light (yes, I could have gone out to help him, but the image of a 9 month pregnant lady running to help a blind person accross the street- not so pretty somehow- anyway, it was too far from the car). As soon as the man got to the final light, I saw another man run up to him and lead him accross the street. It was such a moving minute of waiting- such chessed!

That day I had an initial meeting for a program in Jerusalem that I’ll be working at next year as one of their social workers. In the introductory remarks, the program director mentioned a Midrash from Noach. He said that when Noach was on the ship, he was occupied all day and night with feeding the animals. One day he was late in feeding the lion and he got injured to the point where he was limping for the rest of his life. The question is why, if Noach was going to be the leader of Am Yisrael- the seed from which the whole nation came from, why he was feeding the animals all day? Shouldn’t he have been sitting and learning Torah? Davening? This is where the midrash says, “Olam chessed¬† yibaneh.” The foundation of the world is chessed (charity). I really saw this in my neighborhood and I hope I can implement it in my own life.

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