Each year before Yom Ha’atzmaut the press publishes the population statistics of our country. For thirty years I have listened to these figures with awe and pride. From our humble beginnings of 800,000 at the creation of the state, we now stand at over 8.5 million citizens. 6.4 million Jews now inhabit our nation. If this is not a miracle, I don’t know what is!
From the four corners of the earth, every year Jews come to Israel to make it their home. The increase in population is also a result of the birthrate which this year is 195,000.
The statistics are only a mathematical calculation. When you think of each and every individual who trekked across deserts and mountains, or flew over land and sea to reach their homeland, the story takes on a more personal note. Every immigrant has their own unique story of how they landed on our shores and this is where my fascination begins. What is your story? Are you a statistic? I HOPE SO! If you are one of those fortunate enough to live in Israel, you are part of this great nation and are counted among our numbers. If you still live abroad, please become a statisic! Throw caution to the wind, and join us on our incredible journey as we build up our homeland.
Thank G-d our grandson is one of this years statistics! He was born a little over two months ago and is included in the almost 200,000 babies who were born in this corner of the world.
When I made aliyah, I became a statistic but didn’t know the language well enough to understand Israeli radio when it made its annual announcements about the yearly population increase. My husband,family, sister- in-law and brother-in- law, cousins, friends and neighbors are all statistics. Wonderful! ‘Ken yirbu’(May it continue).
If you are young and are asking yourself why you should make aliyah, I would say in order to BUILD, BUILD, BUILD! We might not be draining the swamps as the pioneers did in the past, but we are building our nation, one person at a time. Every time we shop in the supermarket, or fill our cars with gas, we are adding to the Israeli economy by way of jobs and taxes. Think you could never be the big shot donor from a Jewish organization that helps Israel, think again. By living in Israel, you are supplying the country with manpower, financing and, if you have children, soldiers and volunteers for national service. You are in the platinum league of donors. You might not get to meet the Prime Minister or President as other wealthy donors do, but you will have the privilege of being in the front row of the truly greatest show on Earth; watching our country grow and develop.
Sometimes retirees ask me what they should do when they make aliyah. I answer, ‘The sky’s the limit’. Reinvent yourself. Volunteer in a job you always wanted to do but never had the opportunity. Take time out to help those in need now that you really do have the time to do so. If you are fortunate enough to have children and grandchildren living in Israel, give them a helping hand and see what your kindness can achieve.
One by one we are restoring the glory of our nation. L’Tiferet Medinat Yisrael. Join us!
Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach!