The Haftarah for Parshat Ekev is the second of the seven comforting Haftarot which are read between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashana.

The Haftarah comes from Yishayahu chapters 49-51. The last sentence of the Haftarah (51:3) states: “For God shall comfort Zion, He shall comfort all her ruins, He shall make her wilderness like Eden and her wasteland like a garden of God; joy and gladness shall be found there, thanksgiving and the sound of music.”

During this difficult time in Israel, the State of Israel needs comfort. There are many ways that this can be accomplished.

One way is by helping rebuild the homes that were destroyed by thousands of rocket attacks thereby comforting “all her ruins”.

Another way is to help those farmers whose fields and crops have been affected during the war. This will help “make her wilderness like Eden and her wasteland like a garden of God.”

A great way to bring “joy and gladness” to Israel is by coming to visit and show “thanksgiving” by thanking the soldiers who are still recovering in the hospitals.

This past week, Torat Reva Yerushalayim delivered 47 gift packages to the wounded soldiers who are still recovering in Israel’s hospitals.

On Monday, Rabbi Barry Gelman from Houston, Texas visited Soroka hospital in Be’er Seva, distributed gift packages to the soldiers and sang songs with Naftali Abramson bringing “joy and gladness” and the “sound of music” to the injured soldiers.

On Tuesday, Rabbi Gelman and I went to visit the soldiers at Hadassah Ein Karem.

On Thursday, I traveled with Esti Ochana from Keshet the Center for Educational Tourism in Israel to visit Jordan Low at Beilinson hospital. Jordan is a lone soldier from Baltimore who is still suffering from smoke inhalation after helping fifteen soldiers from his unit escape a burning building in Gaza. Jordan’s father and brother flew in from the United States and are at his side sixteen hours a day.

DSCN2675Our last stop was the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer where many soldiers are still in rehab. The soldiers and their families were happy to meet us, they loved the packages and were in good spirits despite their injuries.