Monday, March 9, 2015

An Emotional Visit to Talmon

Rav Yona Goodman 
Director, Institute for Contemporary Chinuch with Emunah

Orot Students Meet with Bat-Galim Sha'ar
On a blustery winter evening, students from Orot Israel College’s Institute for Contemporary Chinuch with Emunah, headed by Rav Yona Goodman, traveled to Talmon, where they met Mrs. Bat-Galim Sha’er, mother of Gil-Ad Hy”d.
First, the students toured the “khan” that Talmon’s teenagers built with their own hands this past summer – during the tense search and then the mourning period for the three boys Hy”d and later during Operation Protective Edge. The tour sparked a deep discussion about ways to channel and direct young people’s energies during a stressful, nerve-wracking time.
Next, Rav Rami Brachyahu, Rav of Talmon, spoke to the Orot students about the unique challenges he faced as the Rav of a community dealing with devastating uncertainty and tragedy. He explained why Yair Lapid was chosen to deliver a eulogy at the funeral. (Among other reasons, it was “to show that the desire to forge a connection between opposing sides did not only stem from the terrible days of the search.”) Needless to say, his words led to a broad and meaningful discussion.
Yet, undoubtedly, the trip’s highlight was meeting Bat-Galim and Ofir Sha’er in their home. The couple spoke openly about the difficult period and how they coped, and they talked about Gil-Ad and their vibrant encounter with Am Yisrael at its best. At the end of the emotional visit, the participants discussed the question of what we all can and must learn from the past summer in general and from the incredible spirit of unity that we all witnessed and experienced in particular.

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