Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brothers in Arms

I received a letter today which reported a visit by two chayalim (who had been in Gaza this week) to a Jerusalem Yeshiva. It gives the picture above added meaning:

"After Mincha, our Rosh Yeshiva broke into a round of "Am Yisrael Chai" (figuring the non-dati chayalim would be familiar). We danced around the beit midrash, and then the dancing came to an end.

As we were about to "break ranks," Omri called for our attention. Putting his arms around the students next to him, he shared a description of the moments before they entered Gaza.

"We stood in a big circle like this, prepared for battle. We put our arms around each other, and we sang the following song." Recreating their experiences of two weeks, we gathered in a large circle encompassing the beit midrash, and sang with them: "Yisrael b'tach bashem, ezram u'maginam hu. Anachnu maaminim bnei maaminim v'ein lanu al mi l'hisha'en ela al avinu shebashamayim." Yisrael, trust in Hashem! He is their help and defense. We are believers, the children of believers, and we have nobody in whom to trust but our father in Heaven.'"

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