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Rabbi’s Blog: Arriving in Israel

12/21/2023 04:52:17 PM



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Dear OZ family,

We just arrived at the children’s home, Beit Elazraki in Netanya. They were in the middle of a ceremony attended by the grandparents of Omer Neutra. He was one of the first hostages taken on Oct 7th, who was known to us by name. He was a Lone Soldier and he was pulled out of his tank and his family continues to hope and pray for his safe return. I have sent a picture in the WhatsApp group of them together with Alisa and me and Yehuda Cohn, the director at the home.

At the airport there are posters of all the remaining hostages with the call that is on all our minds: “Bring them home now”. There are signs all over the highways and roads that read, “Yachad Ninatzeach”, together we will prevail.

I remember the experience of this trip leaving JFK, from trips to Israel from many years ago. We waited in a remote area of JFK that is reserved only for El Al passengers, on the ground floor of the airport. This necessitated a trip on a shuttle to the middle of the airport near runways, from where we boarded the plain on multiple ramps. 

I’m not sure why this was done, but I’d be curious to find out.

Loving regards from the holy land. 

Rabbi Allen Schwartz 


Mon, March 4 2024 24 Adar I 5784