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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Iyar 24, 5766, 5/22/2006

      The Power of Prayer


      Israelis yesterday received a miraculous, if somewhat frightening, reminder of just how much our lives are entirely in the hands of G-d.

      Palestinian terrorists in northern Gaza continued their daily rocket assaults against southern Israel, firing a couple of Qassam rockets at the town of Sderot. One of the explosive projectiles struck a classroom at a yeshiva high school, but thankfully none of the students was inside at the time.

      As a person who arrived on the scene told Arutz-7: "The students were on their way to the classroom after finishing morning prayers and the classroom was still locked. Some students were waiting outside, and the teacher was on his way up - and that's when all of a sudden the rocket crashed in, hitting the teacher's chair. The teacher was very emotional, seeing that it had crashed exactly where he would have been sitting minutes later."

      One of the reasons why the teacher and some of the students were not yet there was because he had kept them after morning prayers for a few extra minutes to give them a schmooze – a short speech on a Torah-related subject.
      "By miracle," a local woman told Arutz-7, "no one was hurt - but how long can we rely on these miracles, merely because of our leaders' foolish decisions enabling the terrorists to shoot at us? Today and Tuesday are market days here in Sderot, just two blocks away from the school, and the hesder yeshiva is two blocks to the other side - it could have landed anywhere and killed people. How long can this go on?"

      Peretz_tours_classroom_hit_by_rocket Indeed – an excellent question. But an even better one is: why is this still going on? And the answer to that is really quite simple: because Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government has failed to take the necessary steps to stop it.

      But for all of us watching this sorry series of events unfold, we should make sure not to overlook what this incident can teach us. After all, those students in Sderot yesterday were saved because they had been saying their prayers and learning G-d’s Torah.

      However terrifying it may have been for them, for the rest of us it should serve as a timely reminder of the power of prayer – not only to change our lives, but to save them, too.