"Bein HaZmanim" Done Right!

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House (www.heritagehouse.org.il) and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives (www.youngjewishconservatives.org). He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

"Bein HaZmanim" is just about over - for all those that are fortunate enough to have it. My son actually attends the famous "Aderet Eliyahu - Zilberman's" cheder and there are no official days of vacation the entire year. Nonetheless, we felt it was ok to take him out for a few days so that he could join the rest of the family for a little vacation up north, featuring a solid amount of relaxing time in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). It was glorious! (of course, like any other good right-wing Jews, we drove through the Jordan Valley both ways, despite Google Maps's advice)

As enjoyable as everything was, I felt it was important to remind my family (and now all of y'all) that there are people who don't get to enjoy "Bein HaZmanim". Most prominent of them - soldiers in the IDF. It must be especially hard for those soldiers who previously did have the pleasure of enjoying "Bein HaZmanim" back when they were in yeshiva. Of course one should not minimize the importance of "Bein HaZmanim" to the learning regimen, as students of all ages come into the "zman" reinvigorated and determined to succeed in their studies. 

With that in mind, we stopped by the Netzach Yehuda (Nachal Haredi) training base in the Jordan Valley on the way back to Jerusalem last night to drop off some treats for the soldiers, specifically the "lone soldiers" from my yeshiva, Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh. Was great to hangout a bit and to show our deep appreciation for their service. 

ANYONE CAN AND SHOULD DO THIS!!!  I strongly encourage everyone who enjoys the benefit of "Bein HaZmanim" to consider doing something similar during the next "Bein HaZmanim" - just 6 weeks away from now! Whether we're traveling to Hevron, the Shomron, the Golan or even Eilat - there are army bases along the way, and there are soldiers there that deserve our love and appreciation. A bag of Bisli and a Coke (or Pepsi - its Badatz) can go a long way in strengthening our brave soldiers spiritually and emotionally. Let the army worry about the extra physical calories. 

What better way to personally practice and teach our children "v'ahavta l'reacha kamocha"!! 

(Also, if you're visiting the Netzach Yehuda base in the Jordan Valley, you also get to pass by the incredibly inspiring community of Maskiot - made up of heroic Jews from Gush Katif who have overcome such incredible adversity and once again built something very beautiful in the Land of Israel.)

Zman Tov! 

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem