July 24, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 24, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

This week’s parsha, Parshat Lech Lecha, is one of the favorites of our early childhood students. It is here that we learn about how Hashem tells Avram to leave his home and everything that he knows to go to the unknown, to the promised land. We learn how Avram doesn’t hesitate to follow Hashem and how his trust and bitachon is unyielding. It is an inspirational and heroic story of faith and a historic journey that sets the groundwork in motion for our modern day State of Israel, the very same land that Hashem promised to the Jewish people thousands of years ago, and the divine covenant that was made with us. While it surely was a long, difficult and dangerous journey, Avram had full confidence that Hashem would protect him.

When reading the parsha, I couldn’t help but draw parallels with the current situation. When we heard the devastating news of the vicious Hamas terror attacks on Shabbat morning of Shemini Atzeret, my former lone soldier and my Israeli son-in-law visiting for Sukkot with my daughter received their Tzav 8s, their calls to report for reserve duty and rejoin their IDF units.

As a mother, I was gripped with unimaginable fear, but my soldiers immediately announced that they needed to find flights and jumped into action to get back to defend their beloved Eretz Yisrael as quickly as possible. I was in awe of their bravery and determination, and despite my inner panic, I knew deep inside that there was no stopping them and that they had to go. They both reassured me that although it would be a long, difficult and dangerous journey leaving their homes and the people they love, they had faith and bitachon that Hashem would watch over them and the Jewish people, and that they would emerge victorious. After all, Hashem promised us that the land of Israel was given to Avram, and now it was their privilege, honor, and duty to protect it.

The resilience of my soldiers and that of each and every other soldier mirrors Avram’s unwavering commitment. I have faith that Hashem watched over back then, and that Hashem will watch over now. As I dropped each off at JFK airport, days apart, I experienced the roller coaster of emotions of fear, sadness, worry, but most of all, a deep and penetrating sense of pride. I felt at least some comfort that the Land of Israel was a promise from Hashem and that perhaps once and for all that promise will be fulfilled and that we will finally be able to live there with real, everlasting peace. The one difference today is that while Avram didn’t have the backing of his community, we do. The outpouring of unprecedented love, support, achdut—unity—and togetherness within the global Jewish community is something that I believe is our superpower. We will not break. We will remain strong, committed, and together as one.

As we move into the future, during one of the darkest times for Jews in recent memory, let us draw strength from the lessons of our past and the guiding force of our ancestors, and let the light shine on all of us. As parents and educators, it is crucial that we project positivity and confidence to our children and students that in every generation, evil tries to defeat us but with the help of Hashem the Jewish people always prevail. Always. We’ve got this.

May Hashem watch over our brave chayalim and chayalot, keep them safe and strong, and bring them home soon. Am Yisrael Chai!


Jessica Kohn is the early childhood director and founding educator of Ben Porat Yosef. She is the proud, but terrified, mother of two IDF heroes serving on the Israeli/Lebanon border.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles