In Parshat Vayetzei, when Yaakov sees Rachel for the first time, he finds the energy to lift a heavy rock that would normally take a group of shepherds to lift.
Ramban uses the pasuk from Yishayahu 40:31 to explain that God gave Yaakov this extra energy: “But those whose hope is in God will have renewed strength; they will grow wings like eagles; they will run and not grow tired, they will walk and not grow weary”.
The last few months in Israel have been very difficult, from the kidnapping and murder of the three boys, the rockets bombarding Israel from Gaza, Operation Tzuk Etan (Potective Edge) where we lost too many of our finest soldiers, terrorists attacking innocent civilians on the streets, at train stations as well as in a shul, attacks being carried out with a construction vehicle, knives, screw drivers, guns, cars and trucks as well as constant stonings, fire crackers and grenades.
Despite all of these attacks, Israelis continue to go about their day to day lives with more strength than they had before.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick who was shot four times in the chest by an Israeli Arab terrorist not far from my home in Jerusalem is recovering and has been released from the hospital this week. Rabbi Glick is gaining the “renewed strength” that Yishayahu was describing.
Seventy families and ninety singles from North America made aliya last week and 660 Bnai Menashe made aliya from India this past year including a group this past week. These flights of Jews returning to Israel sound like “growing wings like eagles”.
Finally, we have a wonderful team protecting us: the army, the police and the officers of Mishmar HaGvul (border patrol) are also part of Yishayahu’s prophecy “they will run like eagles; they will run and not grow tired, they will walk and not grow weary”. These officers are willing to give their lives if necessary to save innocent Israelis. We unfortunately saw this last week when two Arab Israelis attacked a Jerusalem synagogue in Har Nof killing four rabbis. Zidan Sayif, an Israeli-Druze policeman saved numerous lives when he engaged the two Arab terrorists in a gun battle. Sayif was the first of two officers on the scene. As a result of Sayif’s heroic actions, the terrorists were forced to stop slaughtering worshipers and instead concentrated on attacking the policeman. Unfortunately, Sayif passed away from his head wounds later that day.
Policemen, soldiers and civilians have used their renewed strength to try to save as many people as possible at each of the unfortunate attacks that have taken place recently.
May God continue to protect our soldiers, our border police and all Israeli civilians.