How goodly are thy tents
How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob,
Thy tabernacles, O
How large is thy tent, O Jacob?
How expansive thy tabernacle, O Israel?
Who shall be ushered in?
And who shall be excluded?
Is there room for those who
have settled on J Street?
Shall they be welcomed?
Is there a place for those who
reside in Judea and Samaria?
Shall they be given entry?
Those who would tolerate
but a single state
between the Jordan and the Great Sea
And those who would
from territories long possessed
Those who raised the Zionist
tired of waiting for a God who abandoned His people
And those who recognize
the return to Zion as the beginning of our redemption
Those who defend Israel
And those whose love of Israel has not blinded them
Those who demand
security before peace
And those who seek peace now
Those who would divide
And those who would sooner see their right hand wither.
they be ushered in?
Shall they be welcomed?
Thy tent, O Jacob, is the tent of
Thy tabernacle, O Israel, the tabernacle of Aviva
And the gatekeeper asks
Did you rejoice in Gilad’s release?
Did you feel pride in his return?
Did you wipe a tear from your eye? Lech lecha
from thy country
place where thou wast born
from thy father’s house
to the land that I will show
and I will make of thee a great nation
and I will bless thee and make thy
name great and through thee shall all the families of the earth be
But it will take time
and first thy offspring shall be tried
the children of Israel shall be called upon
to defend their borders
will not return
and their memory shall be for a blessing
and one shall be taken
and his anguish and that of his family shall remain continuously
memory of thy people who shall unite as one in calling for his deliverance
their prayers shall be answered.
And the child whom you love
bound to the altar of Zion
shall be redeemed
and go forth
to his country
place where he was born
to his father’s house
and to his mother’s embrace
thy people shall rejoice
and I will know that I have made of thee a great
May it please you to join us in our tabernacle
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David and Gilad
For five years we wished to
but you tarried
and without you
the festival of our joyfulness
never replete with joy.
For seven days we sat in our frail booths
absence epitomizing the frailty of life
For more than 700 your family sat
immovable in theirs
their presence epitomizing the immovability of
Generation after generation
we hastily constructed these dwelling
places of wanderers
reminding us of bygone days of homelessness
But now you have
returned unto us
and again we can rejoice in our season of joyfulness
have reminded us of the miracle of our homecoming
and the joy of coming
home.A Jewish State and the State of the Jewish people
Two and a half
years ago, I published a column entitled, “What does Gilad Schalit have to do
with you?” The answer I gave was simple: “Nothing more than a willingness to put
his life on the line for the well-being of Jews everywhere.” I urged Jews around
the world to do everything they could to press for his release. Truth be told, I
wasn’t so sure that their efforts would have any practical effect but I was
adamant that “when he gets back home, he should know that his willingness was
To facilitate expression of that appreciation, the World
Zionist Organization established a virtual tent on Facebook alongside the real
one that Gilad’s family had pitched on the doorstep of the Prime Minister’s
Residence. Within hours, thousands from around the world had “stopped by”
and left messages of support for him and his family. Indeed, Diaspora Jewry’s
expression of solidarity with Gilad continued unabated throughout his nearly
five and a half years of captivity. Not surprisingly his release was marked with
festive rejoicing throughout the global Jewish village.
spontaneous outpouring of delight might have been expected, it should not be
taken for granted. Much has been made of the values that impacted on
Israel’s decision to exchange a single soldier for more than a thousand
terrorists – a decision that has been hailed as evidence of our indeed being a
Jewish State. The engagement of Jews everywhere throughout this ordeal is
confirmation that we are also very much the nation-state of the Jewish
Welcome home, Gilad. Thank you for reminding us that we are one.
And for affirming that there is indeed reason to keep dreaming.The
writer is vice chairman of the World Zionist Organization and a member of the
executive of The Jewish Agency.