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Thursday, May 24, 2007

אושר, Osher, Full of Satisfaction

Psalms 84, 5
ה אַשְׁרֵי, יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ-- עוֹד, יְהַלְלוּךָ סֶּלָה.
5 Happy are they that dwell in Thy house, they are ever praising Thee. Selah

Psalms 144, 15
טו אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם, שֶׁכָּכָה לּוֹ: אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם, שֱׁיְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו.
15 Happy is the people that is in such a case. Yea, happy is the people whose God is the LORD.

Yes, these are the opening lines in the אשרי Ashrei prayer, which is said at least three times a day as part of the daily prayers. The lines are taken from King David's Psalms, and in a sense it's like a "summary," or the "main idea" of the 150 Psalms.

Recently, I've been very disturbed by the enthusiasm the residents of Sderot are taking to leaving their homes. Yes, I admit that my community of Shiloh has never, Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, suffered the daily onslaught of enemy rockets like they've been. Is it like the blitz London suffered from during World War Two? My mother's cousin told me stories of how she was taken to a rural maternity hospital in her ninth month, so as not to have the baby in London. But a short while after the birth she was back home, with the German bombs and all the dangers. The Jewish residents of Gush Katif lived their "everyday lives" for years while the Arabs launched rockets on their homes.

Today after babysitting for my grandchildren, I got back home and said the Mincha, afternoon prayer, which starts with Ashrei. The words shouted themselves out to me:


יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ

אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם, שֶׁכָּכָה לּוֹ:

אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם, שֱׁיְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו

Those who dwell in G-d's house are happy, satisfied with what they have. The People who are like that are happy. The People whose G-d is the true G-d are happy, satisfied with what they have.

The residents of Sderot didn't fully love living in Sderot before it became the target of Arab missiles. On the whole, like many Israeli "Development Towns," it was always populated by people who would have had preferred to live somewhere else.

The Kassams are just the proverbial straw that is breaking the camel's back.


josh said...

Well, all their protests didn't work, and this frankly is the best protest of all which grabs the most attention.

This puts more pressure on our corrupt and listless government than the kassams that fall far away from their homes. Oh, I forgot, the friggin' Defence Minister lives in Sderot. Pathetic.

muse said...

The saddest thing is that the "elite" shunting the North-African immigrants to all these development towns over 50 years ago, and they never cared about their safety.