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Israel at 64 – Eshet Chayil

I often describe Israeli society as schizophrenic, we accept the trials of life but refuse to be beaten down. Our emotions run the gamut from deep sadness to joy with barely a breath between. This is most apparent as we lament our losses tonight and tomorrow, the loss of lives cut short by wars we never wanted nor called upon ourselves. Long before Israel was declared a state by the United Nations vote in 1947 our enemies chose war not jaw – a constant war of attrition, a slow and painful battle against incursions and bombings and more recently of calumny. We mourn those who died in uniform and those who died as a result of terror. The nationwide wail of siren aptly express our deep sadness and mourning.

Tomorrow night a huge crowd will sit on Mount Herzl for the State ceremonies. As the changing of the guard takes place, the proud flag bearers presenting the colours the final taps are played and as the sun goes down the mood changes, lightens and bursts into song and dance, fireworks and parades – we celebrate the Independence of this beautiful land our heroes died to create and maintain.

Israel is a 64 year old woman, growing more beautiful every day her character maturing and her abilities multiplying. She invents, creates and innovates, reaching out to the world to help and sustain those less fortunate without thought of reward. Every day she rises above the beatings and emotional abuse of a cruel world to reach higher and higher levels of Tikkun Olam.

Israel, beautiful woman of 64 years. Every day you show us how to live, how to overcome and how to educate and be educated; every day we examine ourselves and our society without casting judgement on those societies which pass judgement on you; every day you embrace and adopt new children and protect them with intensity, ensuring the pain is momentary; you tend and nurse the children of those who would kill you in the hope that one day they will learn to love; you reach out to nations in pain and send teams who can ease their suffering; you are a fine woman, a fine example. Israel you are Eshet Chayil – a woman of worth.

Israel’s Anthem is Hatikva – The Hope. Hope for peace, hope for safe haven, hope for existence, hope for her people. We have no other country so let’s ensure this one has all the support and population she so truly deserves.