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Mazal tov, Goldin Family

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

Hadar Goldin, a Lieutenant in the Givati Brigade of the IDF, was killed and kidnapped in Gaza by Hamas terrorists. To this day his body has not been returned for burial in Israel. Rabbi Itamar Haykin, the teacher of Hadar Goldin and his twin brother Tzur in the Science and Technology High School in Ra'anana, sent me the following last night:

"This evening Tzur and Ya'arah will stand under the chuppah and enter the covenant of marriage. This will be a time of great rejoicing. As at every wedding, the climactic moment of breaking the glass will arrive, and the verse from Psalms will be sung in a sad tone: 'If I forget you Jerusalem, may my right hand wither, may my tongue cling to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not elevate Jerusalem to the forefront of my joy'.

This custom comes to teach us that even in the happiest moments of our lives, such as the transcendent moment under the chuppah, we must pause and focus on Jerusalem as the ultimate source of our happiness. In this way a connection is made between the present joyous moment and the past and the future. In other words, this moment serves to connect the memory of Jerusalem as it once stood and the hope for its being rebuilt in all its glory. This moment also connects the personal, flawless reality of a glass full of wine and blessing under the chuppah to the general, imperfect reality of a broken glass as a remembrance of Jerusalem - all under the same chuppah.

Under the chuppah of Tzur and Ya'arah an additional broken piece is added to the broken pieces of the glass. The twins Hadar and Tzur were always together, from the birthing room to Operation Tzuk Eitan (Protective Edge, the Gaza War of 2014). There they parted ways. For me, in high school, they were always 'TzurHadar.' I always imagined Tzur carrying Hadar on his shoulders at Hadar's wedding and Tzur on Hadar's shoulders at Tzur's wedding. But then something broke.

Let us pray that the commitment not to forget Jerusalem will remind all of us, as well as those who might have forgotten, to fulfill our national commitment to bring home soldiers from the battlefield.

And, of course, we will be joyful and happy all night (even if a stubborn tear will occasionally be seen glistening in the corner of an eye). Let us rejoice with Tzur and Ya'arah and bless them, wishing for them a lifetime of closeness, companionship, love, and peace, and that they will merit to build a lasting legacy in Israel. Mazal tov".


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