Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah
Naomi entreating Ruth and OrpahWilliam Blake, 1795

The rescue of the hostages last Shabbat sparked a wave of joy across the country. Everyone felt a moment of happiness and national pride. The feeling that a lost part of us had returned to its place touched on a deep point in the soul that we all yearn for: to return home!

The Book of Ruth, which we read on Shavuot (yesterday in Israel but on Thursday in the Diaspora) also deals with coming home. Ruth, a foreign woman who got lost "in the field of Moab," finds her place among the people of Israel, and it turns out that this is her place in the first place.

Homecoming is complicated. Ruth goes through many changes until she finds her place: The reapers do not believe her; The "anonymous" man refuses to redeem her; but in the end, Ruth marries Boaz and becomes the mother of the kingdom of Israel.

There are many forces that were kidnapped from the people of Israel lately – and not all of them because of Hamas – national pride, innocence, faith in the justice of our way of running the country - but everyone will return home. Anyone who listens below the warped media surface will notice a worldwide trend of homecoming

-the Right and patriotic nationalism are gaining strength in Europe and the US;

-searching for identity and meaning – are in

-progressivism, wokeness, cancel culture – are being discarded.

It is worthwhile to listen to personalities like Douglas Murray who freely quote Ruth. Ruth is not alone, there are many like her in the world and in Israel who are looking for a way to return home; and they will all succeed.

Meanwhile, the holidays provide us with a much needed break. In fact, one of the difficult moments in life for me, is the minute at the end of Shabbat or a holiday, when I turn on your phone to catch up on the news. The transition between the sacred and the profane is always difficult, but in a challenging time like ours, I need a few seconds of deep breathing before catching up on what has happened in the last twenty-five hours. It is beyond my comprehension to understand Sabbath and holiday observers (not on security duty) who try to "capture" news items during this time.

It is possible that the Sages were aware of this distress, and therefore the seven days following Shavuot are called "yimei tashlumim", days in which the obligatory Festival offerings can be sacrificed. The Sages taught not to say Tachanun (the prayers of supplication) until the 12th of Sivan, since "the Festival offerings [in the Temple] can be sacrificed all seven days following the Festival" (Chagiga 17:1).

These days are the continuation of the receiving of the Torah: "and during these days one should always envisage the revelation at Mount Sinai, and visualize how Israel stood in purity in front of the mountain facing God" (Sefer Hemdat Yamim).

In practice, we are looking at the challenges that the coming days bring us, yet keeping the holiday of Shavuot that we experienced in the background. The battle in the south; the battle in the north and in the other areas; the enemies from within and the enemies from outside – nothing can make us forget that we stood and received the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Happy Isru Chag!