Israel news summary

Israel News for 10-2-2020

News Update

The Health Ministry reported 7,639 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, following a record breaking 9,000 on Wednesday. There are currently 70,660 active cases of which 807 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 196 on ventilators. There have been 1,622 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The PM said yesterday that if the current nationwide lockdown does not show any success in stemming the spread of the virus, “we will need to tighten it.”

The IDF announced yesterday that it will open two dedicated coronavirus wards at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, which will be manned by medical officers and personnel.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, 92, the leader of the non-Chassidic ultra-Orthodox community in Israel and one of the most senior rabbinic authorities in the world, has been diagnosed with coronavirus. He is reportedly in good condition. Several members of his close family have also tested positive.

The 65 year old Rebbe of the Karlin-Stolin Chassidic group has been hospitalized in Netanya after developing pneumonia as a complication from coronavirus. This Chassidic group has been meticulous about observing government Covid related regulations.

Security forces arrested Hassan Youssef, the leader of Hamas in the West Bank and one of the terror group’s founding members, this morning in Ramallah. No specific charges were revealed.

Armenia has recalled its ambassador to Israel to protest the supply of weapons by Israel to Azerbaijan, which is fighting Armenia over disputed territory.

The holiday of Sukkot begins tonight, last for 7 days and is followed by the holiday of Shmini Atzeret – Simchat Torah (which share one day in Israel and are 2 days everywhere else). During Sukkot Jews live (eat and sleep) in a hut-like structure called a Sukkah.

The Talmud states two reasons for the mitzvah of living in the Sukkah for seven days.

The first is to commemorate that our ancestors dwelled in Sukkahs in the wilderness. The second is to remember the “clouds of glory” that surrounded and protected the Jews in the desert. The Talmud seems to lean towards the second explanation. If this is the case, then why do we use a hut to represent the clouds? Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to live out in the open air, under the clouds? Wouldn’t that give us more of a feeling of complete dependence on the protection given us by God?

Although, in truth, living out “under the clouds” does starkly represent total dependence on God, real life isn’t as clear cut. We all try to build structures to provide us with security and protection. We live in these structures and feel safe and in control. We view these structures as permanent and without them we could not function. The reality, however, is that our structures are really just flimsy huts that create for us the illusion of permanence and security. They fall apart when we least expect them too.

The Sukkah that we live in for seven days reminds us that our own structures of security – our houses, careers, social status – are just temporary. They last for a week, a month, a year, several years, but are then taken down. The Sukkah reminds us that our real security and protection comes not from the walls that we build but from the graces of God.

May we all be blessed with the wisdom to differentiate between the security that is true and comes only from God and the false security of the hut that just looks real, but is only an illusion.

Taken from Deep Waters.