Graphic T-shirts are the rage this summer.  Even in Israel we see people walking around with T-s that share messages like “Happy”or “Keep Running” or “Peace.” As I was shopping with my daughter recently, at a local Israeli mall, she too had gravitated towards the t-shirt bug.  She found something she liked, and I started to rifle through the mix to help her.

I was then struck by a purple T-shirt that somewhat offended me, and enlightened me all at once.  It stated “Summer Saved My Heart and Soul.” I began to philosophize to myself “Can a season really save someone?” What did the author of this T-shirt really have in mind? Certainly not living in Israel. Probably some beach in Malibu for the summer….surfing, wind blowing in the surfer’s hair, and not a care in the world.

Yet, the more I thought about it, I realized that this summer really has saved my soul, and others here in Israel.  Our summer began with the tragic loss of three young souls, Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.  Their kidnapping, and later loss of life, catapulted our nation of Israel into a collective energy of prayer and mourning that is unprecedented.

Following that tragedy, we were catapulted into the Operation Protective Shield.  Young men, and old, were sent to Gaza to defend our country. No one was immune to the pain of each missile fired towards Israel. Nor, were we immune to the loss of 64 soldiers, young and old, who died giving their souls for this country of Israel.

And so, collectively, I think Summer Saved OUR Heart and Soul. Despite the tragedy, and the loss, our country has become stronger and more unified.  We join forces, both left and right, to stand up for the right of Israel’s existence.  The collective soul of Israel has strengthened.  We have been empowered, and no one can take this power away from us. The soul of this nation is stronger than ever.  I thank G-d for saving our collective Israeli soul.  It was time for us to wake up.  We just did not know it was time to do so.