Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another reason to love Israel

There are many reasons why I love living in Israel (and if I'm honest probably a couple of things that I would change if I had the choice). One of them is being able to daven mincha when I shop at the supermarket.

There are several supermarkets that have Shuls in them, many of them owned by Rami Levi.

And to make it even better - last week when I went to Rami Levi to go shopping I davened mincha. After mincha they added in Avinu Malkeinu - based on the p'sak of Rav Ovadia Yosef that everyone should say Avinu Malkeinu now to try to nullify the decree of forced conscription for yeshiva boys.

Even though I am actually in favour of doing away with automatic exemptions for the army (though I doubt that the government will succeed in doing what they want to do, and the army will not be equipped to cope if they do succeed, and there are better ways of doing it). However, I think it is wonderful that the workers at Rami Levi, along with some shoppers (none of whom looked as though they had avoided serving in the army) were praying on behalf of the yeshiva students who are keeping them safe. I only hope that in the yeshivot they also pray for the welfare of the workers (at Rami Levi and other places) who supply them with groceries and all their other needs. Rami Levi is the inverse of Ben Zoma's statement (Berachot 58a):

Ben Zoma once saw a crowd on one of the steps of the Temple Mount. He said, Blessed is He that discerneth secrets, and blessed is He who has created all these to serve me. [For] he used to say: What labours Adam had to carry out before he obtained bread to eat! He ploughed, he sowed, he reaped, he bound [the sheaves], he threshed and winnowed and selected the ears, he ground [them], and sifted [the flour], he kneaded and baked, and then at last he ate; whereas I get up, and find all these things done for me. And how many labours Adam had to carry out before he obtained a garment to wear! He had to shear, wash [the wool], comb it, spin it and weave it, and then at last he obtained a garment to wear; whereas I get up and find all these things done for me. All kinds of craftsmen come early to the door of my house, and I rise in the morning and find all these before me.

On the subject of the army draft/exemptions - I was reminded of the fact that we lack Torah true leadership when I read Rashi on this past week's parsha (Pinchas - Bamidbar 27:17):

Who will go forth before them: Not like the kings of the [gentile] nations, who sit at home and send their armies to war, but as I [Moshe] did, for I fought against Sihon and Og, as it says, “Do not fear him” (21:34), and as Joshua did, as it says, “Joshua went to him and said to him, Are you for us [or for our enemies]?” (Josh. 5:13). Similarly, concerning David it says, “For he went forth and came in before them” (I Sam. 18:16)-he went out [to battle] at their head and came in before them. — [Sifrei Pinchas 23]

Just saying is all.

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