This week we read the Torah portion of Vayishlach which describes the story of our forefather Yaakov’s return to the Land of Canaan. Children from a young age are taught about many of those incidents associated with that journey, such as Yaakov wrestling with an angel. One account that young children often skip in school is the story of Yaakov’s daughter Dinah.
Genesis Chapter 34, verses 1 – 2: “Dinah … went out to observe the daughters of the Land. Shechem … saw her. He took her, lay with her, and violated her.”
On October 7, 2023, thousands of Hamas terrorists entered Israel from Gaza, committing unfathomable atrocities against innocent children, the elderly, and women. Over 1,000 men, women, and children were indiscriminately slaughtered. Hundreds were abducted.
One particular heinous crime was the sexual assault perpetrated by the terrorists against women. Each day reveals more details of that horrific day. Many who have been privy to viewing the carnage have reacted with disbelief, disgust, and deep sadness.
This is why the deafening silence of many Rights groups around the world is so shocking. The double standard being applied to Israel is appalling. These Rights groups should be taking to the streets, condemning the actions of Hamas and demanding the immediate return of the hostages.
Alas, just like the little kids in school who are spared the details of Dinah’s abduction, so too these Rights groups are sticking their collective heads into the sand.
In verse 25 we read how “Shimon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took each man a sword … And they killed every male.”
As a result of October 7, the Nation of Israel took up the sword, declaring war upon those who would heartlessly attack our dear brothers and sisters. We will fight until the final abductee is brought home and the threat of Hamas is completely eliminated.
Years ago I published a book, recounting the experiences I had with my family as we journeyed together through Aliyah. I wrote of a “Yom Hazikaron” – Memorial Day experience, of watching my youngest son Shimon act out with his fellow 4th graders acts of bravery committed by Israeli soldiers from previous wars. I remember vividly how at the time there wasn’t a dry eye among the crowd of parents attending the performance. It wasn’t because of great acting by our children. It was because we all knew only too well that soon enough it wouldn’t be a dramatic performance.
Soon our children would grow up and be required to put their lives on the line.
That time has come, for my son, his buddies, and thousands of others.
My own sweet son Shimon reported to duty today. He carries within him the DNA of the Shimon of old, the son of Yaakov, the son of Israel. We are so proud of him and of all our soldiers. We pray for their safe return so that they can resume their normal lives. Our soldiers carry with them the burden of thousands of years of history, the mission of protecting our brothers and sisters at all costs.
We pray for the swift return of the hostages. We pray for the thousands who have been evacuated from their homes.
We pray for a complete victory and peace.