|Oct 15, 2023|
The traditional Simchat Torah refrain שישו ושמחו בשמחת תורה invites us to “rejoice and be happy with the Torah.” This year, our celebrations were shattered. Our young men and women were recalled to the military and joy turned to fear and as reports continued to come in, our fear turned to sheer horror.
The numbers are staggering, and one can hardly fight back tears realizing that every number is a name, and every name has a family. Right now, we are all one very broken family.
JCT’s core legacy of Religious Zionism remains who we are. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, JCT lost students and tragically, additional students and faculty have since fallen while serving our nation.
Many of our staff and students are now in activated, reserve combat units. Fully, 75 percent of our men nursing students have been recalled to the Israel Defense Force on emergency draft orders.
As we pray to Hashem for the welfare of our military forces, for the welfare and speedy return of our kidnapped brothers and sisters and the speedy and full recovery of the thousands wounded, we are taking action.
* JCT will continue to be guided by the IDF Home Front Command and adhere to their instructions.
* The administration has postponed the start of our Fall semester, which was to begin this coming Sunday. It is currently rescheduled to begin on October 22.
* Students are collecting basic necessities and preparing food for soldiers and families in the South, donating blood, and cleaning out bomb shelters. Morale is high.
* JCT has offered residents of the South the use of dormitory buildings on our Lev Campus, providing a chance for a respite from the tension and fear.
* JCT is providing a wide range of academic adjustments and support services to meet the needs of our students who themselves (or their spouses) have been called for reserve duty.
* Finally, we are assisting the families of the draftees.
Rabbi Yehoshua Weitzman, sharing one of the teachings of Rav Kook, coined the expression עם הנצח לא מפחד מדרך ארוכה – “The Nation of Eternity fears not the long journey”. For millennia, our enemies have pursued us, and persecuted us, and by the grace of Hashem we prevailed. Now too, with Hashem’s help, we will prevail.
In our next update, we hope to share good news – stories of courage, bravery and victory.
‘קוה אל ה’ חזק ויאמץ לבך וקוה אל ה
_Look to Hashem, be strong and of good courage!
And look to Hashem._
Professor Chaim Sukenik