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Strength and joy amidst the tears

יהושע עם "יין אורי"
יהושע שני עם "יין אורי"

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

“Shalom Sivan, Our son Uri Mordechai fell in battle on Simchat Torah. Since that day, 'Strengthen yourself like a lion' — words at the beginning of the Shulchan Aruch that instruct us how to get up in the morning — have taken on new meaning.

Our constant challenge is to strengthen ourselves to overcome the incredible pain, to get up each morning to a new day of work and action.

This year simcha (joy) is mixed with tears and fond memories, but we have chosen to try and see the light. Within the darkness, there is light that has been revealed in the world since Simchat Torah. After all, Uri himself taught us to always see reality in a positive light. So our family is prepared to celebrate Purim and to fulfill the four mitzvahs of this day — reading the Megillah, Mishloach Manot (sending packages of two food items to friends), giving gifts for the poor, and holding a Purim feast.

We will sit down to our meal together with 'Yayin Uri' (Uri’s Wine) on the table with the hope that Uri’s spirit will accompany us and add more light.

It’s important for us to convey this message to our amazing nation: Joy is not about losing all restraint, but about connecting to eternity. It’s part of our consolation. It’s part of the victory over our enemies.

And within the joy and the tears, let us pray that we will merit a speedy victory, a return of the hostages to their families, and to hearing only good news.

Yehoshua Shani".


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