Sunday, November 13, 2011

Shalom le-kulam

This week I hardly know whether I am coming or going! I normally start with what is going on here in Israel, but today, I want to start with what is going on with me! As I said last week, my wife gave birth to our 4th child, (3rd son). When a boy is born, there is always so much to do and for me it was no exception. Trying to get the Brit Milah arranged, the Sandak (godfather), the Mohel (the circumciser) and all the family in the same place at the same time and all on the 8th day of his life, whilst making sure that all is going smoothly at the Ulpan, and that all of our students and potential students are taken care of. Eventually, it all came together beautifully yesterday. The weather was fantastic and all of our closest friends and family were there as well as all of my colleagues from both the Tel Aviv branch and the Jerusalem branch along with a few of my long term students. There was a real mixture of people, backgrounds and languages. It would have been an anthropologist's dream! As the Parashat ha Shavua was "Lech Lecha", this week where G-d told then Abram to leave his country, home and father's house, I spoke a little bit of Abram's character and the importance of what he actually did, becoming the first Ivri (the first 'Hebrew' from the root 'To pass over'), also about his heart to take everyone with him. It was important for us to choose a name which reflected firstly, what our new little son meant to us and secondly, what we hoped he would be and become and so we chose the name 'Ori Avraham'. (Ori meaning 'my light' and Avraham after Avraham, Avinu.) We look forward to the next many years that we have together; getting to know him and seeing our little Ori Avraham grow in to what we hope and pray will be an exceptional man and especially a man of G-d.

Other than that, there were a few significant days this week; there were the memorial days for Rachel, emenu and for Yitzak Rabin, after his assassination, 16 years ago.

Shabbat Shalom le kulam!

Gil Pentzak

Ulpan Aviv-Director

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