Be’er Sheva – Since Then Till Today

Be’er Sheva. Avraham Avinu plants an ESHEL (אשל; a Tamarisk tree) in the Book of Genesis, and our commentators explain: ESHEL in Hebrew is an acronym of eating, drinking, accompanying (אכילה, שתייה, לוויה). Avraham is founding a new model there, that of life and chessed (charitable acts). Giving another person something to eat and something to drink, and accompanying guests when they leave. This is how he started spreading his revolutionary worldview to the world. Not with scholarly lectures about faith in One G-d, but with impressive behavior which stems from this faith. As opposed to the attempt to build the strong, tall Tower of Babel, which would reach the heavens, Avraham built a simple, modest tent, which was open on all directions, to whomever needed something. In the end, his tent is much more enduring – it’s eternal.
The first Shabbats I ever observed in my life were in Be’er Sheva, with beautiful, hospitable families. And this morning – a direct rocket hit on a house in Be’er Sheva. Baruch HaShem, there were no casualties, but property was damaged and of course, a lot of panic ensued.
In the ongoing conflict, the same question reverberates since those days until now: How do you live in this Land? Do you run after three strangers in order to cordially welcome them to your home, or do you shoot a rocket in the middle of the night, intentionally, towards a civilian population?

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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