This morning, Moriah, a young Jewish woman living in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem, was stabbed by an Arab terrorist as she was walking her children to school. The terrorist was a 14-year-old girl and Moriah’s neighbor. As soon as she had brazenly stabbed the young mother, the girl went off to her nearby school.
I just returned from the US where I had the opportunity to connect personally with so many Jewish and Christian friends of Israel and of the communities in Judea and Samaria. While I usually spend the overwhelming portion of my time amongst Christian friends, on this trip, I was able to connect with a number of Jewish friends, as well. And they shared some of their greatest fears and concerns with me. And I want to share them with you.
Thoughts on the Torah portion by Sondra Oster Baras “And God said to Abram go forth from your country and from your birthplace and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) What an amazing Scripture! So begins the story of Abraham and the story of the Jewish people.
Last week, I spent a day in the Hebron Hills, visiting communities throughout the area. It was an incredible opportunity to connect in a more intimate way with the wonderful people in the area, to rejoice with them in their accomplishments and to listen as they expressed their concerns and explained the challenges they face. And I was so proud to see the new security equipment that had been purchased with the assistance of our wonderful CFOIC Heartland donors.
But everyone I met noted the same challenge — Arab encroachment on the public lands surrounding each community.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to the US last week for his first meeting with US President Joe Biden. Speculation abounded as to what the atmosphere and outcome of the meeting would be. Bennett and his team had already landed in the US and Bennett had already met with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken when news broke of the terrible terrorist attack at the Kabul airport, killing dozens of people including 13 US marines. As the tragedy unfolded, the Biden-Bennett meeting was postponed to the next day.
The Hebrew calendar is a lunar one and it is based on the monthly cycle of the moon rather than on the annual cycle of the sun. A solar year is 365 days and the months are merely a convenience — dividing the year into 12 roughly equal periods of time. The lunar calendar, however, is based on the renewal of the moon which happens regularly every 29 or 30 days. The lunar year, therefore, is roughly 11 days shorter than the solar year.
Today, at our Second Annual CFOIC Conference of Communities, we handed out over a million dollars to more than 30 communities and several regional councils for security and community needs. These are funds that you, our trusted friends and supporters, have contributed during these past few months. Some of you donated small sums, whatever you could manage to give. And some of you donated larger sums. But all of you took part in this. YOU deserve our thanks.
For most of the last two years, Israel has been embroiled in an ongoing election campaign, with four elections taking place in less than two years. Most of the time, we were governed by transition governments and for a short time by a permanent government that only lasted a few months. It has been chaotic, to say the least.
Israel experienced a totally new reality during these past few weeks. A reality that could have been expected, a reality that some might even say was an obvious development. But at the end of the day, we woke up one morning and realized that the Arab-Israeli Conflict that we have been talking about for decades, was far worse than what we may have hoped. That whatever progress we thought we made in the past 20 years may well have been cosmetic at best, or at worst a deliberate manipulation of the Israeli psyche.
A terrible tragedy happened late Thursday night. As tens of thousands of people were exiting a major prayer gathering at Mt. Meron to celebrate the Lag Ba’Omer festival, a bottleneck was created, a few people slipped and fell, and in a domino cascade hundreds were crushed and trapped. Forty-five people lost their lives that night, including children and teen-agers, and hundreds more were injured.
I was very excited to be able to visit the Samaria Regional Security Center and see for myself how the dedicated staff and volunteers of Samaria are protecting the men, women and children of the area.
April 6, 2021by Sondra Oster Baras Tomorrow night begins Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a day of mourning, of memory, of identification with the victims of the most heinous crimes in the history of humanity, the brutal murder of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany. Restaurants, theaters and places of entertainment close. Memorial ceremonies are