Lt. Col. (Res.) Rabbi Yoel Rakhel, a rabbi at the Eli military preparatory academy, sang the traditional Shabbat song "Ya Ribon" at the site of the synagogue of its 16th-century composer, Rabbi Israel Najara, in Gaza.
"The eve of Shabbat, you shall spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. Gaza City, the ancient synagogue of Rabbi Israel Najara, the composer of the poem 'Ya Ribon,'" Rabbi Rakhel said in a video he published. After that, the rabbi began to sing on the ruins of the synagogue, which remain on the site until this day.
Only a month ago, it seemed like a dream. Lt. Col. (Res.) Rabbi Yoel Rakhel, and his brother Cpt. (Res.) Rabbi Hananya Rakhel, the head of the religious community in Ramat Hasharon and a rabbi at the Avinoam Yeshiva, both refugees from Gush Katif, published a video about a month ago in which they spoke of their longing to return to the Jewish towns of the Gaza Strip.
"We aren't in Gaza yet. But next Shabbat, we will sing to you from the Gaza synagogue the song of Rabbi Israel Najara: 'Ya Ribon Olam'
Rabbi Israel Najara, a biblical commentator and poet who served as the rabbi of the Jewish community in Gaza, is known, among other things, for his song "Ya Ribon Olam" (G-d Master of the Universe), which has become part of the repertoire of songs sang at the Shabbat meal.