Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, May 3rd, 2023
Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, May 3rd, 2023Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
After Sharon unilaterally disengaged from Gaza, Rav Ovadia Yosef said about Sharon, "He will sleep and never wake up." Soon after, Sharon fell into a coma, a sleepless state, and later died only after Rav Ovadia Yosef passed away.

Giving away Gaza was a death sentence for the Jews of Israel as we have seen in the past and as we see now.

A rav said that due to the current circumstances, one should have extra kavanah in the last beracha of Shemoneh Esrei, “hamevarech es amo Yisrael bashalom - that blesses His people, Yisrael, with peace.” This is logical as the Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 21:1) and Talmud Yerushalmi both say, “Ein kli machzik bracha eila shalom – the only vessel to contain blessing is peace.” If we are showered with peace from Above, we can withstand as a nation and as individuals.

It's interesting that in Bereishis many divisions in the creation process take place, yet on most occasions the days are called tov. It seems there can still be peace amidst dividing parts, with a message that separate individuals can come together despite differences; a core message for these times.

It may be argued that shalom is even a life-and-death proposition, for the Misha (Avot 1:12) says, we should be "ohav shalom v'rodef shalom - love peace and run after it." Many are bothered by the word rodef in regard to the message of peace. Perhaps the language is most fitting as a rodef in Jewish law may be stricken fatally, indicative of the fact that we should see our pursuit of peace as an imperative proposition that is essential to survive.

We now hope that peace will prevail over barbarism and hope over despair. But first, the cancerous growth that is the terrorists of Gaza must be completely destroyed.