Areivim Zeh B’Zeh – Jerusalem Unity Day

In Behar Behukotai,this week’s Torah portion we read:

They will stumble , each man over his brother as if from before a sword, but there is no pursuer; you will not have the power to withstand your foes (Leviticus 26:37)

The plain meaning of this is that they will live in fear unable to help each other. Rashi interprets it that they are living in religious and not existential fear. He writes that:

“they will stumble, each man over his brother” means one stumbles through the sin of another, for all of Israel are guarantors for one another. (Rashi on Leviticus 26:37)

The Gemara in Sanhedrin sites our Torah portion to prove that we are each others guarantors. There we read, “Kulan Areivim Zeh B’Zeh– All of Israel are each others guarantors.”(Sanhedrin 27b)

How will we go about trying to protect each other? It seems that the plain meaning speaks to Jewish peoplehood and our being bound up in each other in our very being. Rashi in quoting the Gemara transforms this bond into a conversation about faith, sin, and religion.

Last summer Eyal Ifrach, Gil-ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel were kidnapped by terrorists on their way home from school. Jews from around the world came together to support their families by searching, praying, and just reaching out. The sense of unity reached its peak 17 days later as the three boys were found and ultimately laid to rest side by side. Now, one year later, the families of the boys are asking the Jewish people to come together again.  Together with, Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem and Gesher, we can honor the teens’ memory by joining in ‘Unity Day’ to bring back that sense of togetherness, hope, and being  Areivim for each other. Unity Day programs will be held across the globe on the 16th of Sivan 5775 – June 3rd, 2015. To get involved check out this link.  Being Areivim is not just an idea, it needs to be a practice.


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