Written for Temple Gates of Prayer Bulletin, Late Spring 2012
As many of you have heard by now, on March 29th Sarah and I were blessed with the birth of our daughter, Talia Yuval. We could never have imagined what a miracle it truly is to bring a new life in the world. At the same time, it is a great responsibility to be the guardian of such a precious gift, and we make a very conscious effort to be aware of this each and every day.
There is a Midrash on Proverbs which discusses the famous section beginning with “Eishet Chayil Mi Yimtzah” (A woman of valor, who can find?). The midrash describes the death of Rabbi Meir’s sons, and the way his wife Beruria consoles him (thus making the connection to a “woman of valor”). What strikes me about the way she consoles him is that upon being asked “Where are my sons?” several times, she responds first by distracting him, then by finding the most gentle way to share the news with her husband. So she tells him a little story: “Early today a man came here and gave me something to keep for him, but now he has returned to ask for it back. Shall we return it to him or not?” He replied, “He who has received something on deposit must surely return it to its owner.”
Our children are precious gifts from the Holy One, and it is our sacred duty to keep them safe as long as they are in our care. This brings me to the miracle of Yom Ha’atzma’ut. Next week, Jews around the world will observe Yom Hazikaron to memorialize the fallen Israeli soldiers, then immediately transition into Yom Ha’atzma’ut to celebrate the miracle of the birth of our national homeland.
Israel should not be taken for granted. The fact that the State was born because of so many lost lives means that we must protect it as a precious loan from God so that their sacrifice was not in vain. There are many ways in which we can support Israel from here in America. Of course we can visit often, which Sarah and I do every year. We can buy Israeli products and invest in Israeli companies. And, we can rally together and participate in the Salute to Israel Parade on Sunday June 3, 2012. Sarah, Talia and I very much look forward to participating in our first Parade this year, and I hope many of you will join us.
We wish you a most joyous start to the summer season, and thank you all for the continued stream of support and good wishes on the birth of our daughter.
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