In the mystical city of Tz’fas, close to 500 years ago, lived a righteous man who was known for his kindness, his many good deeds, and his immense wealth, which he used to support the indigent. For the first few years of his marriage, he was not blessed with children, and this allowed him and his wife to pour out their hearts in prayer. In time, the couple was blessed with a son, and their joy knew no bounds. The birth of their child and the upcoming bris milah was the talk of town, and the man wasted no time in requesting the honor of the holy Arizal, Rabbeinu Yitzchak Luria zt”l to serve as sandek.

The story of Operation Brothers is about the rescue of thousands of Jews who were whisked out of enemy lands and brought to the Holy Land. It was one of the finest rescue operations in Israel’s history. It dates back to 1977, with the election of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Shloime Kaufman’s eyes moved rapidly across the familiar faces of the men packed into shul on this sunny Shabbos morning. As gabbai, he had been going through this routine for the past 20 years, looking out over the congregation and choosing a few each week for aliyos. He always recalled the famous words of the Yerushalmi (Megillah 4) that k’rias haTorah is likened to the Maamad of Kabalas HaTorah and a gabbai is akin to HaKadosh Baruch Hu on Har Sinai, as he gives out the aliyos.

A young lady, fresh out of seminary, was traveling to Eretz Yisrael to visit friends and relatives in Jerusalem. She needed a break after the past few hectic and unsettling weeks. After her year in Israel, she had gone “into shidduchim” with a positive outlook and a quiet confidence that Hashem would find her just the right Torah-minded boy, with marriage, a family, and a fulfilling life all ahead of her in the near future. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to be working out this way. None of the proposals that her parents were receiving came even remotely close to what she was looking for, and those boys she had gone out with fell far short of her expectations. At first, she took it all in stride, but soon her resolve began to crumble. Her parents were positively in panic mode! They needed a shidduch for their daughter and they needed it fast!

The words “az yashir,” which Moshe and klal Yisrael sang at the Yam Suf, seem to be questionable, and Chazal wonder about it. The word “yashir” (will sing) is future tense, while the Torah is narrating for us an event that took place in the past. This prompted the Gemara (Sanhedrin 91b) to cite this pasuk as one of the Biblical sources for the concept of T’chiyas HaMeisim (Resurrection of the Dead). The Gemara says that, in fact, the words “az yashir” allude to a future event, after the time of T’chiyas HaMeisim, when Moshe and the Children of Israel will sing a beautiful song of thanks.

The story of Eliezer Nanas is a remarkable one. While living in Moscow under the yoke of Communism, he tried to keep as many mitzvos as possible. He even sent his children to a school that taught Judaism to youngsters, and for this “crime” he was sent to Siberia for ten years, a death sentence for most people. When after a long and arduous journey Nanas arrived at the work camp, he was thrown into a little hut where there was nothing but a bed, surrounded by vast, empty vistas and unending snow. The food that he received was hardly enough to keep body and soul together, and in the extreme cold of Siberia, caloric intake made all the difference between staying healthy and alive or succumbing.