The name Entebbe is one that conjures indelible images for most Israelis. In 1976, an Air France plane with 248 passengers on-board was hijacked on its way from Tel Aviv to Paris. The hijackers eventually flew the plane to Entebbe, Uganda – the place where Israel launched one of the most daring rescue missions in military history.
Heart of Israel
“I was saying Psalms and just kept thinking, ‘What can I do?’” Smolar recalled, thinking about the days following the Dec. 9 shooting at the Ofra Junction, which left Ish-Ran critically wounded. She was hit in the lower abdomen and pelvis and underwent surgery at a Jerusalem hospital, during which her baby – 30-weeks – was delivered in an emergency procedure.
It was around midnight in June 2015, when I received one of the most dreaded phone calls. I was in bed waiting for my husband to return home from another one of his Binyamin League basketball games, when a neighbor called: “There’s been another shooting on the road, your husband is OK, but his cell has no service,” she said.
Overlooking Mount Moriah where the First and Second Temples once stood in Jerusalem, tens of thousands from the Ethiopian-Israeli community gathered today at the Armon Hanatziv promenade for Sigd (meaning to worship and literally to prostrate in Amharic). Sigd is a holiday of the Ethiopian Jewish community which includes prayers, gatherings and a breaking of the fast from the previous evening until the conclusion of the afternoon service.
Many Jewish sources interpret this scene as the revival of the Jewish People and the return to the Land of Israel. Like the dry bones that no-one believed could show signs of life, so too the Ten Tribes of the Jewish People would be revived, and come back to reignite life in Israel. We have seen this prophecy come true in our lifetime. Against all odds, the words of God came true, and the Jewish people have returned home and revived the land of Israel. There is no other land in the world that waited for their people to come back, and we did it after 2000 years, just as God promised, ink on parchment in the Bible.
The first known Ethiopian Jews to move to Israel with “official” permission since 2017 will shortly arrive in the country. After months of lobbying the government, the mother and siblings of Sintayehu Shaparou, the Ethiopian who competed in Israel’s 2018 Chidon HaTanach (International Bible) contest, are being granted residency status.