Update From Yoni Lipshutz of Simply Tsfat
From Yoni Lipshutz of Simply Tsfat:
After a lull of 3 days, since the Ari's yahrtzeit, we have heard numerous sirens and katyushas fall around Tsfat this morning. I have not heard of anyone being injured or any direct hits, although the news has reported some homes being hit. Last week it was reported in both the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz that the Magen Dovid Adom was directly hit, this was untrue, journalism at it's best! A katyusha fell very near, within 100 feet or so and miraculously no one was hurt and damage was minimal.
I went to the bank this morning, they are conducting 2 hours of business in the morning from their bomb shelter. The post office was supposed to be open too, but after the 1st few alarms they closed their doors. I received mail only yesterday and the day before. People started coming back and 1 or 2 stores actually opened.
There have been a few brave people from the USA who have visited bringing chizuk and presents for the kids, something to bide the time in between sirens, thank you! There has also been an outpouring of help regarding food and we have received a number of distributions. Again, thank you for all your support and love.
After hearing what happened in Seattle, everyone must realize that we are ALL on the front lines, no one is immune and we must all pull together regardless of political affiliations. Besides tefillot, t'shuva and tzedakah, achdut (unity) will show HaShem our true fiber.
In that light, I read of some shuls in Seattle closing for Shabbos due to the threat of more attacks or some other perceived threat. Some articles were critical, and I must admit that it disturbed me too. I would be more in line with holding another large gathering, as the Seattle community did the week before the murder. BUT we cannot judge other peoples actions. Although I stayed here in Tsfat, woe be it to me if I was critical of others who have left for safer places. Our extroverted judgmental tendencies are real killers of achdut. This Tisha b'Av, let's turn them on ourselves individually.
Have you ever noticed how there are no books at Barnes & Nobles on the subject of how to be critical, how to get angry or how to tell someone off? These are knee jerk, 2nd nature characteristics. Rather there is a plethora of books available on How to love your neighbor etc... It's not easy to show true appreciation or understanding of another person's situation, especially when he irritates you to begin with. We all have 20-20 hind sight. I might suggest something to everyone during these times, show some appreciation to each other. Certainly to your own loved ones, but I would also suggest to that person who irritates and upsets you, or even, forgive me for suggesting, to that person who is irritated and upset BY you! How you might ask? Rav Elchonon Tauber from LA suggested to me once, talk to that person for 10 minutes straight and tell him verbally, how much you appreciate and find commendable everything that person has done in his life, especially those things that that person himself considers important. Do not let him talk, find and search out every little detail that is commendable, when you find one, it will lead to another and another. I am not talking about flattery I am suggesting to make an honest assessment and show appreciation. While you're at it, do it to yourself too! Perhaps this will aid in the coming of Mashiach!!