Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Thursday that Israel intends to take appropriate steps to ensure its security amid expectations of a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia. “Peace with Saudi Arabia is a blessing for Israel, but alongside that, we are making every effort to assess the risks and ensure that we are moving in the right and responsible direction.”
Defense Minister Gallant and his German counterpart Boris Pistorius signed a document to initiate the sale of Israel Aerospace Industries Arrow 3 missile defense system to Germany. The $3.5 billion deal will be the biggest in the history of Israel’s defense industries.
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has approved a request from Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai to use Pegasus, a surveillance spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, designed to infiltrate smartphones running iOS and Android operating systems and which can turn them into 24-hour surveillance devices, in the investigation of the murder of five family members in the Bedouin town of Basmat Tab’un.
Israel has been admitted into the United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP), allowing visa-free entry by Israeli citizens from Nov. 30. Israelis must have a biometric passport to obtain the waiver.
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.
On Simchat Torah, in a little over a week, we will complete the reading of the Torah and begin again from Genesis. Then we’ll read one parsha (Torah portion) each week. In a book called Deep Waters: Insights into the Torah and the Jewish Holidays, I’ve included original insights and lessons on each of the 52 Torah portions and on all of the Jewish holidays. Each lesson is usually no longer than a page or two, so you can absorb it minutes. The book is for people of all levels of Jewish knowledge, from beginner to advanced. And the book is available on Amazon Prime, so you can get it quickly and return it if you don’t like it (but you will like it).
To get your copy of Deep Waters click here.
Because of the holiday, unless some BIG news breaks, we will not be publishing next week.