Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Shabbat under fire: an Israeli story

Sir, - Friday night July 25th, in the midst of the unceasing Hamas terror rocket fusillades fired throughout Israel, Petach Tikva had the dubious privilege of a 'red alert' heralded by a loud wailing siren. This alarm caught many shul-goers off guard just prior to the start of their Leil Shabbat meal.

Upon hearing a siren, the instructions of the Home Front Command for a residential building is for the families to seek shelter in the enclosed inner stairwell and to wait there for ten minutes after hearing the explosive boom. This particular seven story building on Rechov Hanissim found the majority of its families occupying the stairwell from top to bottom.

Yossi Roth and his wife are residents of this building and were on the stairwell, when Yossi had an inspiration. Using his beautiful voice he started singing the 'Shalom Aleichem' hymn which welcomes the two angels into the Sabbath home and asks for their blessings. What Yossi started was picked up by all the families – irrespective of religious or secular – with increasing enthusiasm, providing the angels with a most resounding welcome. The angels of course were happy to provide their enthusiastic blessings for a Shabbat of peace and tranquility.

Petach Tikva

[Image credit: Wikimedia user יעקב]