Dear Readers..

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Dear Readers,

Well, well, well! It turns out the Iranian Ambassador to Beirut recently said that his country would pay $7000 to each family who has a son or daughter martyred trying to stab Jews in Israel, up to $30,000 if their house is destroyed following such an attack. Talk about being open about their feelings toward the Jewish people.

Perfect timing to lift sanctions and release $100 billion, you think?

Thank G-d, we’re in the months of Adar I and II, and we can feel Hashem’s embrace. We’ll soon celebrate another Purim, although at times, “They wanted to kill us, Hashem saved us, let’s eat!” seems a bit old. True, it’s great to know you have a guarantee your people will exist for eternity, but can’t the bad guys lose for good this time around!?! The cycle of very real pain is too much.

Most years Parshos Veyakhel and Pikudei are read together. This year they’re separate, but either way, veyakhel – referring to “gathering” – always comes before pikudei – an “accounting” of separate items. We’re taught that the Jewish people are one body with many parts. Hands, toes, ears – we all complement each other, and we’re supposed to be as one body praying for the success of other constituent parts, even though we might have opposite functions.

However, sometimes we’re meant to take a step back and not even see the differences, pikudei, at all. Rather we should focus only on our being one, veyakhel. When we meet another Jew, whether for the first time or again after an acquaintance of many years, we are to view them as the other half of ourselves – the machtzis which completes our machtzis hashekel. They are the other in whom we find our complete self.

This year being a Shnas Hakhel makes this especially relevant. It’s a time to come together and unite as one people, to strengthen each other l’yirah es Hashem Elokeichem.

We are closer than ever to the time when G-d will reveal His master plan. Although it’s hard to keep track of all the revolutions and upheavals taking place in the world, we are certain they are leading to one place; our Father in Heaven finally taking off His mask and revealing Himself as the Creator and Life Force behind all of reality. May we experience it in the very near future.

And may we have a joyful Shabbos filled with Jewish unity,

Shalom