Are We at the Beginning Stages of a 1960s-1970s-Style Teshuva Movement?
Lots of nice Teshuva taking place in the Israeli government and beyond!
Interior Minister Gideon Saar has begun to observe the Sabbath and attend Torah lessons, reports the news website Mako after speaking to sources close to Saar.
According to the report, Minister Saar cannot be said to be “making tshuva” – becoming religiously observant or adopting a religious lifestyle – at this point, but he does observe the Sabbath, at least in the sense that he does not drive on Sabbath and does not answer telephone calls except after the stars come out on motzei Shabbat, marking the end of the sacred day.
He has also begun to attend Torah lessons “occasionally.”
Sources close to the minister and his wife, star news presenter Geula Even, said that the change in the couple's life took place on the day in which they held the brit ceremony for their first son, David. The event, in which Saar served as sandak (“godfather”) appears to have brought about a dramatic spiritual change in Saar that led him to change his lifestyle.
Journalist Emily Amrousi wrote in Yisrael Hayom on Friday details of Finance Minister Yair Lapid's visit to the home of kidnapped Gilad Sha'ar (16) in Talmon, revealing the impact the abduction appears to be having on Israeli society.Add that to the Tehilim gathering in the Knesset and the ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE uptick in Ahdut and we may have the beginning stages of a new Teshuva Movement. May it be so.
Bat-Galim, Gilad's mother, told Lapid on Friday about the groom who arrived at their home on the morning of his wedding as a sign of support to strengthen them, and about the prayers being held worldwide for the safe return of their son and the IDF soldiers searching for him, Naftali Frenkel (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19).
"I too won't be able to look in the mirror knowing that I didn't do the maximum" to free the teens, Lapid told Gilad's mother.
"I haven't prayed for six years. Since the bar mitzvah of my son I haven't been in a synagogue. When the story of your sons broke, I looked through the entire house searching for my grandfather's siddur (prayerbook). I sat and prayed," acknowledged Lapid.
Hundreds gathered in Talmon on Friday for a prayer rally attended by both Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi David Lau and Chief Sepharadic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, along with Rabbi Yitzhak David Grossman.
Lapid's prayers come as reports Wednesday revealed Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) has begun to observe Shabbat and attend Torah lessons, in an apparent process of “making tshuva” – becoming religiously observant or adopting a religious lifestyle.
Sa'ar's Shabbat observance includes not answering telephone calls except after the stars come out on motzei Shabbat, marking the end of the sacred day.
Outgoing President Shimon Peres met with the parents of the abducted teens on Thursday at his Presidential Residence.
"Three families like this can lift up a nation to heights previously unknown, and I'm not exaggerating. It's been several days that Israel is different, unified, joined, praying, fighting," Peres told them, remarking on the change in Israeli society since the kidnapping.
For all those naysayers who say that Teshuva in Israeli society will never happen, I say, "Yair Lapid just picked up a Siddur. Enough said." We see that ישועת ה' כהרף עין - Hashem's salvation comes in the blink of an eye.
As we know, Teshuva is a prerequisite for Geula. Ribbi Yehoshua and Ribbi Eliezer only argue about how we get to that stage of Teshuva, but all agree it's necessary. Is the kidnapping of the 3 boys equivalent to Haman-like decrees? I don't know, but I hope the decrees don't get any worse. May all Jews throughout the world see the importance of Teshuva and may that Teshuva be the catalyst that brings Mashiah Tzidkenu Bimheira Veyameinu, Amen.