Friday, January 13, 2012

Secret of our Strength

One Friday, we were here on the Mt. of Olives with a group of soldiers from officer training school, and late Friday afternoon we went down to do Shabbat prayers at the Western Wall with a little dancing. We made a huge circle around the whole square. 284 cadets, officers, the whole battalion. We danced and sang 'Am Yisrael Chai.' A huge circle. We came in close and sang a few more songs. 'Shabechi Yerushalayim.' 'Kol Ha'Olam Kulo.' We danced and sang for 20 minutes. And after that, whoever wanted stayed for prayers, and whoever wanted went on a tour. After Shabbat, we did a concluding program. Some of the cadets spoke about their thoughts.

Near the end, a cadet got up and said, "Hi, may name is Awad. I am a Druze from Kfar Yaka in the Galilee, from the Herev Battalion. All Shabbat people were asking me, 'How do you feel here ... Shabbat is for Jews ... Jerusalem ... etc. And I didn't answer them. But now I will answer you. Here in front of everyone. This was the most amazing Shabbat of my life. But the most amazing moment was watching you dance at the Western Wall. I stood and watched religious, secular, Sepharadim, Ashkenazim, Olim (immigrants), natives, left wingers, right wingers and Haredim (ultra-orthodox) who joined the circle. And suddenly I understood the secret of your strength. When you are together, no one can beat you. And the strength, you get from here ... from Jerusalem ... from the Western Wall.

Rabbi Yonatan Milo, senior lecturer to the IDF (From this video).

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