The Priestly Blessing contains three parts. It begins with a blessing for prosperity and safety, continues with a blessing for God’s grace, and climaxes with a blessing of peace. In Israel, the Priestly Blessing is recited publicly each day by individuals possessing a family tradition that they are among the descendants of Aharon. We pray every day for the total fulfillment of the Priestly Blessing, when the Jewish people will live peacefully in the Land of Israel.
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FEATURED PHOTO: Hikers traverse the Kidron Valley (Shutterstock).
Hashem your God will dislodge those peoples before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them at once, else the wild beasts would multiply to your hurt Deuteronomy 7:22 (The Israel Bible™)
v’-na-SHAL a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha et ha-go-YIM ha-AYL mi-pa-NE-kha m’-AT m’-AT LO tu-KHAL ka-lo-TAM ma-HAYR pen tir-BEH a-LE-kha kha-YAT ha-sa-DEH
God reassures the Children of Israel with a surprising promise regarding their entrance into the Land of Israel: “Hashem your God will dislodge those peoples before you little by little.” Would it not be more comforting to know that the period of conquest would be quick, as opposed to long and drawn out? How is this promise of a, protracted military campaign of comfort to the people? If all of the people of Canaan would have fled at one time, large portions of land would have been left unpopulated, allowing for dangerous, wild beasts to enter and roam the land. In order to prevent this from happening, the Israelites were told that they would capture the land in stages. The modern era has also seen the remarkable return of Jewish people to their land, and it has again happened in stages, “little by little.”
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This coming Sunday is Tisha B'Av, the fast of the Ninth of Av. This is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar as we commemorate the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem along with countless other atrocities committed against the Jewish People throughout history. The central ritual of Tisha B’Av is fasting- abstaining from eating and drinking- for 25 hours. While fasting is strenuous for everyone, it is all the more difficult for soldiers on active duty. While IDF soldiers are accustomed to standing guard in the heat for hours on end. Yet doing so while fasting is a different level of difficulty.