In 1958 on a cold wintry Chicago night, 25 couples gathered to discuss what was happening in the barely ten year-old Israel. Soon after, my parents joined them. This past month, after meeting (monthly) for almost 55 years to discuss Israel, the group, called Nili, decided to disband, and no longer conduct meetings.
I think I took the news harder than my mother did. How could Nili close!? I remember fondly the Motzai Shabbat meetings in our house, the annual lox box (to raise money for Israel), and the impression it made on me (and so many others), that Israel must be the central focus of our day-to-day lives.
But alas, mother nature has taken its course, and continues to do so, hence this was inevitable.
So, what was Nili’s magic?
Nothing. No magic. No hocus-pocus.
Nili’s charm and reason for its many successes, can be attributed to its 100% authentic, unconditional and unshakable support of The State of Israel. Yes, support of The State. Not of an organization. Not of a personality. Not of a trendy cause.
Nili taught us all that The State of Israel was to be first and foremost in our minds, central to our lives, and was deserving of support, in every meaning of the word.
It is no wonder that the Nili group boasted a remarkable ‘success rate’ in the amount of their children who made Aliya.
Why should this interest you? There are many reasons-I will share a few below.
** The time is ripe to bring back the centrality of blue and white/Israel/Zionism to your community.
** Unadulterated support for a non-perfect Israel is the calling of the hour. Nili showed us that this is possible!
** Dugma Ishit works-if parents discuss and support Israel, so will the next generation.
** Support Israel in the highest form, make Aliya. Minimally, encourage those that want to, and do.
** Nili is replaceable (not easy, but do-able). Support of Israel is not. Let’s all do our share.
Thank you, Nili, and to all the special people who made up the group.
Am Yisrael has a lot to learn from you.