On Thorns and Flowers

Hundreds of youth, many of them who knew Ori Ansbecher HY”D well, gathered last night near the place where she was murdered, at Ein Yael. Here are a few things that I heard there: The organizers of the Bnei Akiva youth movement explained that they feel like Jerusalem was violated and made dark, and therefore we must gather there in order to sanctify and light it with soulful songs and prayers. Rabbi Avi Bildstein, the rabbi of Teko’a, the community in which Ori lived, said that in the weekly Portions we read about the most antithetical reality – about the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), about global perfection, about connecting all the good middot (character traits) that we have into one place. This is our task.

Ori’s friends, who shared with her the same apartment in the National Service, asked of the audience something:
“Every evening, at the end of the day, Ori had a custom. She used to gather all of us in a circle and ask us to do something that she called ‘a thorn and a flower’. Every one of us would tell all the others about something disturbing and annoying that happened to her that day, about a ‘thorn’, and every one would tell about something good that happened to her during the day, about a flower. It instilled in us a great sense of proportion. Now, since the murder, the apartment is empty without her. Everything seems full of thorns. But we are sure that Ori would have wanted us to make an effort and find some flowers as well. We ask of whoever can do this, to adopt this custom.”

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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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