Colors: Purple Color

 The handover of power in the Knesset this past Sunday was raucous, as nationalist lawmakers heckled incoming Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for betraying their cause by joining his Yamina party to seven others in a ruling coalition, breaking the stalemate that goes back to the 2019 election when incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party failed to maintain their coalition.

Years ago, I read a beautiful story about a tiny Torah scroll hidden in the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp used to help teach young boys to read and become a Bar Mitzvah while in the camp. Although the rabbi who kept the Torah and taught the boys did not survive, the scroll itself did. The scroll made it to Israel and through the incredible world of Jewish connections, was taken up to space with Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. That Torah scroll, along with Ramon and the six other astronauts, were lost to the world when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on February 1, 2003.

May their memories be a blessing.

The calamity in Surfside will live on as one of the worst building collapses in US history. Surfside, Florida, is home to a bustling Jewish community of roughly 5,000, more than one third of the North Beach population to be exact, and largely Orthodox in practice. North Beach, a top portion of narrow land on the Atlantic Ocean, also includes Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, and Indian Creek. The area, once the scene of rampant anti-Semitism, including lodging slogans like, “Always a view, never a Jew,” now boasts large religious observance, with much stemming from the Shul of Bal Harbour under the leadership of Rabbi Sholom D. and Rebbetzin Chani Lipskar, and Rabbi Yair Massri, who leads the Sephardic minyan on the premises. Just blocks from the Towers site is the Surfside Minyan Synagogue, under the helm of Rabbi Aryeh Citron, where six families have been affected by the unfolding events. While the Jewish communities of South Florida are known to house retirees over 65, Surfside’s Jewish community has a median age of only 43.

 If the enemies of Israel needed a pretext for rioting and rocket attacks, last week’s planned eviction of four Palestinian Arab families in eastern Jerusalem served as the convenient excuse. Predictably, the usual voices on social media and in diplomatic circles expressed a range of statements from being “concerned” to condemnation of “Jewish supremacism,” a new term coined by leftists to conflate white racism with Zionism.