I’m Back

Aliyah, ArtilleryMiluimHi everyone. I’m back. It’s time to move forward.

Miluim was great. Rosh Hashana was also great because I got to be home with my family. Yom Kippur was even better – not only did I finish miluim right before (which of course meant being home with the fam) but being in Ariel on Yom Kippur is an exceptionally uplifting experience. The reason it’s uplifting is because when you take a look around so many people get involved. People take their head-coverings out of retirement and they pour into the synagogues. Where I davenned (prayed) there wasn’t even standing room – as with last year the shul was literally overflowing with congregants. There were special minyanim (services) set up for non-observant and/or prayer-service beginners. The gymnasium down the block from my shul was converted into a synagogue. Unforunately only 250 seats were set up on the court – Thank G-d that wasn’t enough.

 Truth be told, what was so beautiful about Yom Kippur in Ariel wasn’t the number of people praying. It was the “yachas”. “Yachas” is the way people treat each other. That’s a big deal here in Israel. Thank G-d, in Ariel the yachas is the way it should be – noone looked at anybody else funny. Whether you were carrying a siddur or riding a bike, praying or going for a walk – you were blessed by the people you passed with a G’mar Chatimah Tova or an occassional Shanah Tova and you answered in kind.

Mutual respect, a sense of community and a sense of belonging. Seems to me like a great way to start the new year.

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