Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Forever Together: Peace and Security.”
For Israel, we’re turning the corner towards peace and how wonderful it is, yet even as we do, we must never relax on the safety and security of our people.
Yes, in earnest, we hope for peace, we crave it, and we even sacrifice (sometimes painfully) for it, but also we know that we must safeguard that peace and our lives though the best, most advanced and relentless security, in case that often illusive and miraculously achieved peace at any time fails or falters. Strength, along with undying faith in the Almighty, is the constant and enduring safeguard of the peace that we so yearn for with our every fiber. This is why peace and security must always go hand-in-hand together. (Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Sukkot is the Jewish Festival of Shelter and of Ingathering.
In these challenging times of coronavirus and before this eventful election, more than usual, we need G-d’s blessings to shelter and protect us, and to bless both the United States of America and the State of Israel that they should be safe for all of us and that the “ingathering” be not only of the harvest, but of all the exiles from the four corners of the earth to G-d’s Promised Land for the final redemption.
For two thousand years, the Jewish people exiled from their land, widely dispersed, and inhumanly persecuted among the nations developed passivity and learned helplessness. They eagerly awaited, year after year, G-d’s salvation and redemption. As a tiny minority attempting to hold firm to their religious beliefs amongst the world’s powerful majorities, the Jews found themselves a convenient scapegoat, suffering landlessness and joblessness, taxation to the point of near-starvation, conscription of their Jewish children for military service of 25-years, forced conversion on pain of torture and death, horrible violent pogroms that sparred no one, and expulsions from country after country. During these times, the Jewish people learned passivity in the hope of not inflaming the hate and anger of the goyim that would make things “even worse!”
Certainly, there is no mitzvah to being passive and helpless, and this was undoubtedly in large measure a result of being homeless and suffering under the weight of relentless and brutal anti-Semitism for 2,000 years. Yet, as we each roll up our sleeves to actively work and fight for the modern State of Israel, our independence, and our right to practice our religion freely, we must do so with full knowledge and thanksgiving to G-d, our creator and sustainer! Whether King David against the giant Goliath, Samson against the mighty Philistines, or our modern-day strong and brave soldiers in the IDF defending the borders of Israel from historical enemies’ roundabout, they stand strong against all the natural odds, because G-d stands right there with them and us.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we know that everything is in the hands of G-d, including life and death, but there is no question that President Trump has been an instrument of the Almighty in delivering genuine and consistent support—recognition, annexation, aid, sanctioning our enemies, fighting BDS, anti-Semitism, and biased resolutions, and the advancement of peace—to Israel and for the Jewish people.
What the New Year and the upcoming election brings, no one knows, but Hashem. However, let us recognize the good and thank President Trump for everything that he has done for Israel and the Jewish people, and let us pray that G-d brings us continued blessings for the upcoming Jewish year of 5781 and beyond towards our final redemption.
Blessed are you, Hashem our G-d, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
Let me express today my complete joy and thanksgiving to G-d for bringing us to this sacred time, when we join the handsome chasan, Naftali (Nafi) Meles to my beautiful daughter, Michelle (Minna) Blumenthal.
I was blessed with my wife Dossy to have two absolutely beautiful and incredible daughters, Minna and Rebecca. All three of these women are the loves of my life and the apples of my eyes. They are beautiful outside of countenance and most importantly, inside in their neshamas (souls).
Now as well I must thank the Almighty for blessing me with two amazing sons, both after my namesake. My Hebrew name is Abraham Naftali, and 3 years ago we were blessed to have Itzchak from Israel come into our lives and marry my daughter, Rebecca and become a son unto me. If you remember in the Torah, Itzchak was the son of Avraham and also he married Rivkah (Rebecca).
And again, today, Hashem has shown me his blessings and mercy and brought Naftali into our lives to marry our daughter, Minna. My middle name is Naftali and again, I welcome my namesake Naftali Meles into our family as my second son.
So truly I am blessed and have so much to be grateful for, bli ayin harah, with now 2 lovely daughters and 2 wonderful sons.
Both Minna and Nafi are the mezinkahs, Minna in our family, the Blumenthals, and Naftali in the Meles family—the last child of each of our families to be married off, so this is a great and truly joyous occasion.
I want to tell you a little about Minna and Nafi today.
Minna is an incredible young woman. She is a deeply religious person with a heart of gold, who always looks to do right by Hashem and others. Minna is also thank G-d celebrating the completion of her Master’s Degree in Communications just a few months ago, in June, from Georgetown University and she has been working for Homeland Security, since she was just 16 years old. She has brought us so much nachas and please G-d this is just the beginning for many more accomplishments in her life.
Nafi, who I have come to know this last year, is an incredible young man. Nafi is a wonderful Jew who learns weekly with a Torah partner, and is dedicated to making a wonderful Jewish home with Minna. Just last month Nafi completed a highly prestigious internship with the Department of Defense, and is moving forward, please G-d, with his career ambitions as a permanent government employee and rising star. As many of you know, Nafi is also an accomplished drummer and he comes to us in Rockville with drum set and all. I think eventually they’ll need a bigger apartment.
Minna and Nafi are joining together today to build with G-d help a bayit ne’aman B’Yisrael, a lasting house in Israel. They have a wonderful love and understanding for each other and with Hashem as the 3rd partner in their marriage, I am confident they will be very successful in building their home and family.
I want to take the opportunity to thank the Meles family for having such a wonderful son as Nafi to share with Minna and us, and for joining our families together. I pray that Hashem will bless this beautiful loving couple with many, many years of health, joy, parnasa, and peace! And of course grandchildren for all of us! Amen!
I also want to thank each and every one of you for joining in our simcha today. Unfortunately Covid has limited the quantity of the attendees, but it allowed us to focus on the quality instead! Please G-d many more simchas with all of you in the future!