This coming Tuesday night after sundown and Wednesday, April 17-18, 2018, is Memorial Day in Israel for our fallen soldiers and security forces who sacrificed their lives in defense of our country. In Israel, our wars are not economically and politically motivated like they are in many countries. We are simply defending ourselves as Jews. Therefore, our fallen soldiers are all martyrs. As the Gemara teaches, there is no higher place in the world to come than there is for those who give their lives as martyrs for the Jewish People.
Ben Vanono Hy"d from Ashdod was one such martyr...
2013: Another red alert siren and people in Ashdod scrambled to the nearest bomb shelters. The Gazans had upgraded from homemade Qassam missiles to Iran-provided Katyusha-type GRAD missiles that were much more devastating. One fell in a kindergarten near Ben's home but thanks to Hashem, it was ten minutes after the children and their teachers went home. Ben's blood boiled. This was no battle on the other end of the world like some countries fight. This is a battle for our home, in our own backyard.
Ben dreamed of being a combat soldier in the infantry. And, of all the infantry units, he wanted to be a Golanchik, a fighter in the legendary Golani Brigade. Although the unit traditionally served in the north of Israel on the Lebanon and Syrian borders, in recent years, they had been pulling extensive Gaza border duty, protecting the south of Israel. Ben wanted to be one those guys, but he knew that he had little chance of being accepted. He was out of shape and almost 90 pounds overweight...
Also featured this week:
Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Price of an Insult
Racheli Reckles - Mom Ruined My Life
Yehudit Channen - Facing Yourself
David Perlow - Good Connection
Lori Steiner - Break Free
Jennifer Woodward - On the Edge
Tzipora Barabi - Someone to Speak With
Blessings for a lovely new week and a wonderful new month of Iyar, and may we hear good news from each other, amen!