The years between 1948 and 1951 witnessed a huge migration of Jews to the shores of the Land of Israel. This influx began at a time when Israel was in the throes of its greatest struggle for survival, the War of Independence, and continued throughout a period troubled by both security concerns and economic hardship. In the mid-1950s, a second wave arrived in Israel. The immigrants of the country’s first decade radically altered the demographic landscape of Israeli society and religious education, for the children of these immigrants was imperative. Many of the g’dolim took up the challenge creating networks of yeshivos, but funding was always difficult, and the Israeli government often thwarted them in the hopes of incorporating these religious children into modern Israeli society, throwing off the yoke of Torah u’mitzvos.

On Rosh HaShanah, the Yom HaDin, when we daven, the key is for us to ask Hashem to shower us with all that we need: not for our good, not for our comfort, but because we wish to be able to serve Him better. Hashem wants us to reach out to Him, but we must remember to beg and beseech Him so that we can be more complete ovdei Hashem, using our every day to serve and bring honor to His name. There will be no greater z’chus.

“Rabbi Elazar said: The light that the Holy One, blessed be He, made on the first day of Creation was not that of the sun but a different kind of light, through which Adam could observe from one end of the world to the other. But when Hashem looked upon the generations of the Flood and the Dispersion and saw that their ways were corrupt and that they might misuse this light for evil, He arose and concealed it from them, as it is stated: “And from the wicked their light is withheld.” And for whom did He conceal it? For the righteous people in the future, as it is stated: “And Hashem saw the light, that it was good” – and “good” is referring to none other than the righteous people” (Chagigah 12a).

When Rabbeinu Moshe ben Maimon zt”l moved to Fostat, Egypt, in 4925 (1165), his fame as a physician spread rapidly, and he soon became the court physician to Sultan Saladin, the famous Muslim military leader, and his son al-Afdal. He also continued his private practice and lectured before fellow physicians at the state hospital.

Tamir Goodman, an observant Jew, is well known in Jewish circles as a star basketball player from Baltimore. In high school, he was dubbed the “Jewish Jordan,” was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and interviewed by numerous sports and news outlets. In 11th grade, he was ranked the 25th-best high school player in the country. In university, all the games his team played were re-scheduled so as to not fall on Shabbos, an unheard-of precedent in America.

One of the first and most successful kiruv organizations in the US is Hineni, founded by the dynamic Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis a”h in the 1970s. The organization was an instant success and the Rebbetzin was asked to speak and engage with people at many events all over the world. She recalls one very special event that she was asked to speak at.