If not now when …

if-not-now-then-when-2.jpg

G-d, please help me not to live my days thinking I am the poorest of the world while I was the richest one. Help me not to pronounce words thinking they’re the right ones while they were the wrongest of all. Help me not to struggle for planting seeds, for finding  one day their fruits are the bitterest ones.

Help me not to look ahead so sure of myself about the real goal, while that row was there only for testing me once more. Please help me not to look back after 100 years realizing the real worth of all things I fought  for was less than a pile of dust. Please help me not to understand when it is too late, how I should have lived my whole life in order to deserve to be called your son. Please help me not to find myself one far away day looking for the right answer to what it really means being a Jew. Make that, surrounded by my descendants when my hair color will be the sum of all colours, I can smile satisfied and proud of their names, of the festivals they will be respecting, of the Saturdays they’ll be observing. Help me  to do now what is right, to walk where it is right to go,  to say now what is fair to say, to think now what is right to think. Grant me enlightenment to forge a destiny I will be proud of. Do not make me belong to that category of human beings who  are able to understand only when things are done.

I entrust to you, angels who collect all prayers to make scores of human life to be brought before the King, you who gather the tears in large jugs to be placed on the scale with which G-d judges the world, to you who do not close your ears when the screams of the soul goes beyond the spiritual sound barrier, to you angels  I commend these words of mine.

And before the gates of Heaven close and You affix a seal to the envelope containing my new year, enlighten me G-d about the power of a single moment, the infinity of present, about the magic of good intentions and the ability of  a Jewish soul to transform a whole life in less than a second.

 

Gmar chatimà tovà,

may the envelope of each of us contain only good things.

Gheula Canarutto Nemni

 

What can I do for you?

Dear soldier  sitting there on the heights of your land while waiting for an order. With black color on your face for hiding yourself in case of war. With your heart beating for the fear of hurting an innocent life. Dear soldier full of anxiety and tension. With your eyes closed and the thought directed to your mother’s smile and embrace full of apprehension and worry. With your heavy shoulders of a responsibility that no one has in the world, at your age. With your  rolled sleeves and the tfilin on your arm while directing your heart to G-d. Dear soldier I think of you while you sit there during the cold of the night. While the radio plays together with the noise of the rockets thrown by an enemy that shouts “ we love death as you Jews love life”. While your soul is trembling because you know you are there, to defend the future of your people. I think of you. And I would like, really like, to do something for you. For all the soldiers, for my and your nation, for the members of my family who have fifteen seconds since that sound breaks the sky, to run and save their lives. I would like to be part of this clash between opposite ways of intending man and the reason for which he is in this world. I cannot wear a military uniform. Nor I cannot take a weapon in my arms. But I know, I truly know, I can help you though I am far. Because we both belong to a nation which is able to fight not only through weapons and strenght. A nation which is able to break all natural rules, winning enemies which are more numerous and powerful than it. We have a secret ally. Who is able to turn upside down all the situation in a few instants. Who is able to decide if a rocket will explode in the hands of the enemy who is preparing it or it will fall in the middle of the sea instead that on a building full of families. In order to help you I know I need to call for that secret Ally once again. Doing something more between all the things He commanded us to do in this material world. More tzedakà, some more kosher, more prayers and shabat. More Torah study moments and concentration of our children education. Dear soldier, dear brother who lives in Israel, may our awakening be appreciated by our Eternal Ally, and may He protect us from the hands of everyone who wants to harm us. Amen.

Gheula Canarutto Nemni

When a Rebbe changed a world

It was not easy to stand for 10-12 hours, smiling at and blessing the person who was standing in front, as it was the first and only one. While there, just behind that man or woman, the was a queue that arrived four blocks further.

Being a leader means giving a special value to each person.

It was not simple to receive hundred and hundred of letters every day and answer to each one as it was written by your best friend.

Being a leader means being able to listen.

It wasn’t usual to send just married couples at the other limit of the world with the only goal to awaken and renew judaism between people who forgot who they are.

Being a leader means to be able to convince people they can really change the world.

Not everybody accepted the idea of putting tfilin around an arm able to bring non kosher food to its mouth and switch a light during shabat. An arm so important as the person to whom it belonged only because it was jew.

Being a leader means to love everybody and not judging anybody.

It was not a common scene to see prime ministers, presidents, generals and scientist all coming to take an advice from the same person. Who usually was not even graduated in the topic he was giving precious advices about.

Being a leader means to be searched for your wisdom and ability to solve impossible problems.

Not everybody is able to pray for the sake and healing of people never seen before. With the same concentration and devotion as a father does for his son.

Being a leader means to care for every single member of the group. More than for you.

Not everybody had the courage to speak and shout about the right of Israel to keep all its lands for itself. And the absolute danger there is in giving a piece of land in change of something our enemies really don’t want. Though international pressure and political wars, Israel had to stand for its right to exist without compromises and mean ways.

Being a leader means to do something that most of the people are scared to do.

No one was speaking of mashiach, of better times, of prophecies becoming true of bottons to shine as the last step for the redemption.

Being a leader means to have a vision and being able to share it with the whole world.

Leaders are there because there is work to do.

There are people who need, problems to solve.

Challenges to undertake, dreams to be shared.

Leaders know when it’s time to light on a candle instead of staying there criticizing the dark that is everywhere.

A leader is there 24/24, 7/7 to serve his people.

These are only a few features of a person who dedicated every minute of his life to make this world a dwell for G-d and a better place for life.

Rebbe, may we deserve to see you again with our flesh eyes.

20120621-231715.jpg

Ladies and gentlemen, Am Israel Chai

April 18th 2012. 26 Nissan 5772. Yom hashoah. The commemoration day for the Shoah. Benyamin Netanyahu speaks in front of thousands people in Yad Vashem. Speaks. And tells. About Esther Nadiv. An 89 years old lady who survived to Mengele and his infinetely cruel experiments. About Hanoch Mandelbaum. An 89 years old man who survived that hell called Bergen Belsen. And who was able, after a few years since his arrival to the land of his fathers, to give life to the desk on which David ben Gurion signed the Israel Independence declaration. Abou Iran. And its constant nuclear danger. About the world. And its renuvated silence. In front of another threaten to the Jewish survival. A silence that easily reminds Netanyahu and us, another silence. That brought to the biggest tragedy of our humanity. Benyamin Netanyahu is in Yad Vashem. And from there, he remembers. The impossibility for most of European Jews to perceive the coming tragedy and save their lives before it was too late. The anger of many of them in front of the scary words of the Jewish leaders who tried to open their eyes in front of the rising antisemitism. Benyamin Netanyahu is in Yad Vashem. And forgets. He is in Yad Vashem, speaking to thousands of people, listened by millions all around the world. And he looses a chance. He mentions the Israeli army. He remembers the Jewish capabilities. He reminds the Israeli nation its duty and its determination, to defend itself. But he forgets.That the Jewish survival among nations. Among big, powerful countries full of weapons and hate. That survival that goes against statistics and mathematical rules. That is the exact opposite of natural laws that tend to grant victory to the stronger and more powerful. That survival is due to Someone. Which  Benyamin Netanyahu, in Yad Vashem, forgets to mention, even once. Ladies and Gentlemen,  Am Israel Chai he says loud and clear. Forgetting that the same person who signed the independence declaration of his state, David ben Gurion,  used to say that in Israel, in order to be realistic, you have to believe in miracles. Ladies and gentlemen, Am Israel Chai. Not because we have an army, or because we want so strong to survive. Am Israel chai, our nation is still here to challenge nature and its eternal laws, because Someone decided it. Because that Someone never stopped, even for one tiny second, to perform miracles for His nation. Benyamin Netanyahu, Jewish secret of survival has only one name. G-d.

The taste of freedom

What is freedom? Asked themselves Jews the day in which they left Egypt. What are we going to be? Went on saying those who did not dare to ask themselves such questions little before. What is the taste of getting up in the morning not being forced by anybody to do things you don’t want to? Dared to think people who were still bearing on their bodies the signs of a cruel slavery. Freedom is to sacrifice the god of your oppressors to the true G- d answered Moses explaining the rules about the Passover lamb. You are going to stop being the slaves of men. In order to be free to be the slaves of G-d, went on to explain Moses. You will taste the real freedom since the exact instant in which you will be commanded to observe the sanctity of shabat, when you will not enjoy anymore the opportunity to eat any kind of meat you might like, with the duty to eat only unleavened food during the days of Passover. Time went by. New generations arrived. People who did not find satisfying answers for the questions they had. Is this real freedom? Ask themselves Jews everyday when coming back from an uninterrupted seven days of work. Is this my true identity? Go on saying people who are not used to ask themselves what is the real purpose for which G-d put them in this world. Is this the true taste of freedom? Dare to think some Jews challenging a world that thinks Divine rules are a limitation for human expression. Freedom is to be able to think as a Jew. And not as the world wants you to, answers Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Rebbe, whose main purpose in life was to save his brothers and sisters from having similar thoughts and life approach to all other nations on this earth. Freedom has the taste of kosher food. Of matzah, maror and charoset. Freedom lies her. In the daily strenght to eat unleavened food when all the world around you eats chocolate eggs. Freedom is to be able to sit at a seder table and to tell without shame and fear the story of the Exodus from Egypt for the hundredth and thousandth time to your children. Freedom is this. To raise your head when the world would like you to stay down and cry. And shout with all the air you have in your lounges: am Israel is still chai. We are still here, thanks to all Moses of each generation. And no evil, no assimilation will ever have the power to erase matzah from our seder table.

20120403-001755.jpg

A dream shared by Pharaoh and many others

My name is Anna. I am twelve years old. I have brown eyes and hair. My youth has just started. But my life is going to end. My name is Rebecca. I am five years old. I have blue eyes and blond hair. I will never have a 6 years birthday party. My name is Isaac.  I don’t know exactly how old I am. Maybe one. Maybe two. The only thing I am sure about is that I have been separated by mother. And that I will never see her again. My name is Ruben. I would have been born in two months. My soul will never arrive in this world. Somebody decided we don’t deserve life. We are guilty of an unbearable fault. Language spoken by our parents is too differnt than the one spoken by native people of our place. Our Way of dressing does not always follow fashion style. Our names, when called in class by our teachers, echo as stanger sounds between school walls. Our identity is too deep. You cannot avoid noticing it. Our proudness as nation is too powerful for being silent. Those who denied us our future had one and unique plan in their minds. A dream transmitted by Pharaoh until 1938. A dream consisting in the total disappearance of the people to whom we belong. A dream based on the denial of our present in order to avoid your future. A dream that, thanks to G-d was never realized. You, who are there today, reading relaxed in a synagogue or among the warm walls of your home, you can choose. If to cry, remember and feel pity and sorrow for us. Or bring us to life again. When a girl named Anne will turn twelve and will decide to respect all mizvoth of G-d. When a girl named Rebecca will light a candle on Friday night. When a boy named Isaac will pronounce ‘torah’ between is his first words. When a boy named Ruben will come to this world and will have his circumcision on the eighth day of his life. Then the dream of our enemies will not have a chance to get realized anymore.  And you will be able to give us back our stolen life.

Welcome home Gilad Shalit

Welcome home son of everybody.

Son of mothers who did not sleep at night worrying for your life.

Son of fathers who trembled every day fearing for your destiny.

Brother of teenagers who prayed everyday for your health.

Friend of babies who named you after their Shma’ Israel.

Flame of candles lit up every Friday with hearts full of hope.

Star of the sky endlessly shining for 1935 nights.

Glue able to keep women and men of different traditions, colors and accents, united by a common dream.

Fish bought on the terrorism market at the price of 1000 sharks.

Living miracle with still the strenght to smile after all those nights away from your home.

Tear falling on faces who crieds even not knowing you.

Member of a big family, spread all around the world, whose Father is there, always ready to help.

Part of a nation which motto “who saves a single soul does save a whole world” is not only wrtitten on old books and abandoned papers.

Today it’s your day, dear Gilad Shalit.

And for 6 hours no phone call was made.

No invitations was written.

No veil was designed.

This is your day.

And even an incoming wedding with all its sorts of troubles and joys, which requires every instant of our busy lives, is able to stop for a while.

Because you, though you don’t know, are even my son. And your new life is precious for me as you were just newly born.

Thank you G-d.