Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Baruch Dayan Emet

Israel mourns the terrible loss of Major Yochai Kalangel HY”D and Staff Sergeant Dor Chaim Nini HY”D, who were killed by our enemies in the North. May Hashem avenge their blood, and may their families be consoled among the other mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.

Seven other soldiers were wounded in the same incident, and may they all have a speedy and complete recovery.

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת חַיָּלֵי צְבָא ההֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, הָעוֹמְדִים עַל מִשְׁמַר אַרְצֵנוּ וְעָרֵי אֱלקינוּ מִגְּבוּל הַלְּבָנוֹן וְעַד מִדְבַּר מִצְרַיִם וּמִן הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל עַד לְבוֹא הָעֲרָבָה בַּיַּבָּשָׁה בָּאֲוִיר וּבַיָּם. יִתֵּן ה' אֶת אוֹיְבֵינוּ הַקָּמִים עָלֵינוּ נִגָּפִים לִפְנֵיהֶם. הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִשְׁמֹר וְיַצִּיל אֶת חַיָלֵינוּ מִכָּל צָרָה וְצוּקָה וּמִכָּל נֶגַע וּמַחְלָה וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם. יַדְבֵּר שׂוֹנְאֵינוּ תַּחְתֵּיהֶם וִיעַטְרֵם בְּכֶתֶר יְשׁוּעָה וּבְעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחוֹן. וִיקֻיַּם בָּהֶם הַכָּתוּב: כִּי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם איבֵיכֶם לְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם וְנאמַר אָמֵן.

May He who blessed our fathers, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our country and the cities of our God, from the Lebanese border to the Egyptian wilderness and from the Mediterranean Sea to the approach to the Aravah, whether on land, in the air, or at sea.

May Hashem deliver our enemies who rise against us stricken before them. May the Holy One, blessed be He, protect them and save them from every calamity and peril and from every affliction and illness, and may He send blessing and success to all their endeavors. May He subdue our enemies beneath them, and may He crown them with the coronet of salvation and with the crown of victory. And may the verse be fulfilled through them: "For Hashem, your God, walks with you, to fight your enemies for you, to save you." And let us say: Amen.

(The Prayer for the Welfare of the IDF)*

May we soon be privileged to witness besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael.

* Special thanks to the official Our Shiputzim Hebrew-English translator for providing the above translation. For more information, please contact me at OurShiputzim at gmail dot com, and I’ll gladly forward all serious inquiries to her.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Euphonic Friday: Open Your Heart Edition

Six months after Eyal Yifrach HY”D, Gil-Ad Sha’ar HY”D, and Naftali Fraenkel HY”D were kidnapped and brutally murdered by terrorists, their classmates and families released a beautiful song in their memory.

Entitled “Ptach Libcha B’Rachamim” (“Open Your Heart With Mercy”), the song contains poetic allusions to the three boys’ names, focuses on the incredible unity that we all experienced during the summer, and serves as a heartfelt prayer that the unity be rekindled.

Noted Israeli artists David D’Or and Ilan Kenan wrote the lyrics and music, and the song was recorded by renowned singers Koby Aflalo, David Broza, Yishai Ribo, Yonatan Razel, Avraham Fried, and David D’Or.

Here are the moving lyrics:

פתח ליבך ברחמים על בניך
קולם לדורות ישמע
בשמים ניצבים לעד דבריך
ובארץ המצא לנו נחמה
איכה היו השלושה לאחד
וציוו לנו חיים
עלו לתומם כאייל נעקד
על מזבח הבנים
שמים בכו מעל לגלעד
והארץ רעשה
מתוך נפתולי הלב שרעד
חייכו בתמונה השלושה

פתח ליבך.......

ובין מייצרים בקרוב עלי מרעים
התגלו במסך האבק
שקרים שבתוך מנהרות מסתתרים
מזימות שנורו למרחק
הרוח נשבה ישנה חדשה
וקרבה לבבות רחוקים
מתוך תעצומות הנפש ביקשה
לא ליפול גם כשלא מבינים

פתח ליבך.......

ובתוך הטירוף בין מרדף לנרדף
תעלה זעקה לשלום הנכסף
והעם שעייף משינאת החינם
יתאחד בחיבוק אחים

פתח ליבך......

May the coming week be filled with besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael.

!שבת שלום ומבורך

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fine Arts Friday: 5775 Calendar Edition

Warning: The following post may exceed the recommended daily allowance for maternal boasting. Proceed at your own risk.

So, in case you were wondering – and I can’t imagine that you weren’t - here’s the thing about neglecting one’s blog:

It turns out – and yes, this came as quite a surprise for me, too - that when one allows days weeks months to go by without making time for blogging, one finds oneself with a rather extensive collection of partially-written posts.

I mean, consider the following images, which have been rattling around my Drafts folder since before Rosh Hashanah.

As veteran Our Shiputzim readers will no doubt recall, every year my mother puts together a family calendar, and the various grandchildren prepare the artwork.

Here are the Shiputzim kids’ beautiful contributions (I warned you that there would be boasting… :-)) to the 5775 calendar:

Jan2015Parshat Shmot - January 2015
(Roughly corresponding to Tevet-Shvat 5775)

May2015Bikurim (Shavuot) - May 2015
(Roughly corresponding to Iyar-Sivan 5775)

As always, please be sure to click on the pictures for a much better view.

Stay safe, warm, and dry, and have a wonderful Shabbat!
!שבת שלום ומבורך

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pre-storm housekeeping

As the entire country stocks up and braces for last year’s major winter storm – because why shouldn’t we take it for granted that this week’s storm will be an exact copy of the blizzard of December 2013? – now’s probably a good time to take care of some blogging housekeeping by finally sharing some post-Chanukah thoughts.

But first, I hope you all had a wonderful, joyous, and light-filled Chanukah!

IMG_6199Zot Chanukah 5775

And now without further ado, some post-Chanukah notes:

1) Before he summarily and abruptly resigned, the former education minister decided, for reasons best known to himself, to shorten Chanukah vacation – to the dismay and indignation of schoolchildren across the country.

And since it soon became apparent that the change was – like many of the former minister’s so-called reforms – hastily conceived and poorly implemented, the kids weren’t the only ones who were annoyed.

Because the result was that no two Shiputzim kids had the exact same vacation schedule, and thus, your humble blogger spent much of Chanukah asking, “Remind me again. Who is off tomorrow?

2) Due to a bit of car trouble (hopefully more about THAT in an upcoming post), we found ourselves homebound more than we originally planned.

But it turned out that our unintended staycation had a silver lining.

With nothing else to do, the younger Shiputzim kids had a chance to watch both “The Princess Bride” and “Singin’ in the Rain,” and now YZG and I can say that we’ve fulfilled two of our essential parental obligations…

Winking smile

Stay safe, warm, and dry, and enjoy the snow!