Gratitude for Hashem’s Gifts

 By Rachel S. Rolnick, a student at Midreshet Devora

In Parshat Tazria 12:6, the Torah states: “Upon the completion of the days of her purity for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring a sheep within its first year for an elevation offering…to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, to the Kohen.”

In Vayikra Raba- Tazria 14 Rabbi Levi used a Midrash to explain, in greater detail, why a woman must bring a korban olah, an elevation offering.

There once was a man who lent another man some silver; when the borrower repaid the loaner he repaid him in gold. The loaner was repaid with a greater amount than he had been given. Rabbi Levi compared this to a child. A child comes from a tiny drop of semen, but that tiny drop of nothingness will grow up and become a person. That “nothing” can have one of the greatest impacts on the world, either for good or bad.

This past week we remembered the impact that one man made on the Jewish people. On Yom HaShoah we remember the evil perpetuated by Hitler. He murdered six million Jews. One third of our people were slaughtered because they were Jewish.
The Jewish people however can never be eliminated. We have Hashem’s eternal promise. Next week we celebrate the miracle that occurred because of a few people with one dream: the dream to reestablish the Jewish homeland. On Yom HaAtzmaut, we received our own state and we went from being the wondering Jew, to a nation with a homeland.

We as Jews are commanded to thank God for the miracle of bringing life into this world. Hashem miraculously gave us the State of Israel. Seven nations surrounded us yet we defeated them. We won the war with God’s help. How can we now deny the gift that Hashem gave us of our miraculous homeland, by giving it away to others?      

Just as we must thank Hashem on the birth of one child, so too we must thank Him for giving us a homeland to keep us, our children, and our future generations safe. We move forward from the sorrow of Yom HaShoah to the golden glee of Yom HaAtzmaut. May we as a nation continue to live and prosper in the Holy Land that Hashem has miraculously put into our hands. Let us proudly proclaim to those that would seek to destroy us, Am Yisrael Chai!

Shabbat Shalom from Yerushalayim!

Rachel Rolnick, 18 is a student at Midreshet Devora ( Rachel is from Houston , Texas . She is the daughter of Drs. Richard and Ruth Rolnick and a graduate of the Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston , Texas . Rachel plans to attend Stern College for Women next year in New York City . She is having the most spectacular year in Israel and especially enjoys teaching Torah in Spanish at a nursing home in Jerusalem.

Torat Reva Yerushalayim is still accepting applications for Midreshet Devora ( , a post high school midrasha in Jerusalem as well as for The Torat Reva Post College Fellowship for women 21-26 (


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