Monday, June 27, 2016

Two Quick Posts From Israel: June 2016

Tonight, young residents of Tel Aviv came to shop, eat, and chat at the Sarona Market, just two weeks after a horrible terror attack.
They came because it was a beautiful evening.
They came because it is a beautiful mall.
And they came because of “Davka”.
“Davka” translates as “in spite of” in English, but it means a whole lot more. Davka reflects a courageous spirit and a sense of purpose, the remarkable stubbornness of a people that has refused to abandon their mission no matter what they encounter.
Davka is the Sarona Market. Davka is the Jewish people.

Tonight, on June 22, 2016, I officiated at a special wedding in Caesarea, Israel.
The bride is the granddaughter of my friend John from Montreal. John is a survivor of the Holocaust lucky enough to have been in the Russian Army during the Nazi onslaught; his entire family, except for his mother, were murdered by the Nazis.
When I arrived in Israel, John told me he was up a couple of nights thinking about the date June 22nd. Like all weddings, the couple had chosen the date for logistical reasons, but in the back of John’s mind he knew June 22nd was also a very important date; he just couldn’t remember why. Then 2 days before the wedding, John realized that on June 22nd, 1941, the Germans had invaded Russia. On that day the Russians came to take him for military service, and it was the last day John saw his father, brothers and sister. June 22, 1941 was a terribly tragic day in Jewish history, and on that day, John’s young life was torn apart.
But now 75 years later, something else was happening on June 22. His granddaughter was getting married and living in Israel, to a veteran of an elite IDF unit. John could barely imagine that he would survive, and now his granddaughter was getting married in the Jewish state.
Jeremiah prophesied that והפכתי אבלם לשמחה “I will turn their mourning to joy”. On this night, I saw this come true with my own eyes. It was a miraculous moment, and I was privileged to be a part of it.
Mazel Tov Brittany and Mickey!!

Am Yisrael Chai!!

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