Breaking News: Parashat HaShavua & 20 Years Since the Israeli Helicopter Disaster

Breaking News: Parashat HaShavua & 20 Years Since the Israeli Helicopter Disaster


This morning, “My Nation – Ami Chai” posted a pic of the monument erected in She’ar Yeshuv, the village over which the two helicopters crashed, with the caption reading “Today marks 20 years since the Israeli Helicopter Disaster”.  It then adds –

“On February 4, 1997, two Israeli helicopters crashed, killing 73 soldiers. The following Thursday was declared a national day of mourning, thousands of Jews throughout Israel arriving at the Western Wall to pray for the lives of the soldiers. The cause of this horrible tragedy is unknown until this day.”

I remember when this happened.  I remember exactly where I was when the news of the crash came in.  I will never forget it.

At that time, I was living on Moshav Tzafaria right next to Ben Gurion Int’l Airport in the central Gush Dan area of Israel.  I was at work.  Everyone in the office heard the news together.  After the initial shock, then horror, then moment of silence, my boss (who knew the entire Tanach by heart) said, “Do you know what Haftara it is for this week’s parsha?”  I have to admit, I didn’t.  “Go find it,” he said.  And so I did, over lunch break.

Sure enough – there it was, right smack in that week’s Torah reading: Isaiah 7: 4 –

“And I said to him, ‘Be careful and be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart become soft from these two smoking firebrand tails…”

I would turn this around: If you read the parsha and didn’t see it giving you the best news, update, and analysis of current events, go back and read it again.  Every word of the Tanach is divinely-given, supernatural wisdom.  It’s what God Himself conveyed through His messengers.

Each parsha corresponds to each of the weeks of the year, respectively.  What you read in the parsha relates to what’s happening that very week – this year, next year, last year, the year after next.  Because it’s supernatural.

And this is what Torah is, and the way Torat Yisrael is supposed to be taught to Am Yisrael – as alive, living, and divine.

Last week, many waited with bated breath for something or someone to “have a heart” and cancel the evacuation of Amona.  But the parsha, Parashat Bo, foresaw otherwise, as Hashem over and over “hardened Pharaoh’s heart”.

Friday January 20th, 2017 was the sixth day of Seder Parashat Shmot.  The inauguration of Donald Trump to POTUS was the very week we read “And a new king rose up over Egypt”.

Torah is our life.  A Jew lives and breathes Torah.

May the memory of the 73 IDF soldiers of the “two smoking firebrand tails” be for their souls’ iluyi. 

Shavua tov.

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