How the Heart Longs for Home

Oh, the aching heart that longs for home. The dream of the visionary Herzl “im tirtzu ain zu agada”…if you will it, it is no dream….. haunts me. I am away from my home, my warm and comfortable home in Rishon Lezion. The walls are covered with photo-portraits of my father and mother, my grandparents, my wife’s parents, both sets of grandparents, and both sets of great-grandparents. When we look at them every day, we remember that we are a family steeped in Jewish tradition and in Zionism.

Because my wife is undergoing chemotherapy, the doctors will not permit her to make the long flight home. And so we wait. We sit, we pray, we wait. The heart longs for our home in Zion.

Neighbors in our apartment in Rishon have written to us wishing Rahel a refuah shelemah. The wife of the rosh vaad habayit (chairman of the house committee) telephoned to tell us how upset our neighbors were to hear of Rahel’s illness and they wished her a speedy recovery and a quick return home to Rishon.

Although far from home, we are kept in touch with events daily. We read the Hebrew press, YISRAEL HAYOM and YEDIOT each morning. On Arutz 2 we watched Bibi and Putin in Moscow this morning. One hour ago we watched the live tragic events at the Sarona Market in the Kirya in the bustling heart of Tel-Aviv.

Nine Israeli civilians wounded. Two terrorists were neutralized while the police continue searching for a third possible suspect. As of this moment, the terrorists, dressed to look like haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews), have not been identified. We assume that they are Arabs. The shooting came from Carl Gustav automatic weapons, the kind that Arabs have used in previous terror attacks against Jews.

Watching the tragedy which unfolds before our eyes we cannot find words sufficient to praise our heroic security forces, police, Magen David personnel and others who rushed to the scene immediately and apprehended two of the terrorists. The wounded were taken by ambulance to Ichilov hospital.

As always in our wonderful Israeli society, everyone standing by or in the vicinity of the Sarona Market rushed to the scene in efforts to be of help. Each of us has a commitment to the Talmudic statement in B.Shevuot 39a “kol Yisrael areivim zeh lazeh”… every Jew is responsible for another.

This is our basic law for communal responsibility. If one Jew sees another Jew in trouble, he is obliged to come to his aid. This is the magnificence of humanity…..of Jewish humanity… and how proud we can be as Israelis that our people observe this law whole-heartedly.

With the good and the bad, with joy and with tragedy, the people of Israel are one, united by a common love and a common mission to be God’s partner in improving His world.

How the heart longs to return home. How great is the yearning for the land of love, loyalty and treasured friendships.

We cannot return as the Biblical prophecy declared “on wings of eagles”. But hopefully and very soon, El Al will have two seats waiting for us.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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