The time has come for all of us in Israel… indeed all Jews worldwide, to take a deep breath… and to reflect on both our past and our present. Indeed, many of us have forgotten the journey which brought us to this moment in time.
Involved in two parallel projects to correct the records of our own history, I cannot help but reflect on the sacrifices which were made so that Jews today could share the fulfillment of the dream of a Nation state of our own… on our biblical promised land.
These two projects, to which I refer, will be revealed when the time is appropriate, but in essence they are to bring the Kavod (honor) and respect to individuals (Z.L.B.), without whose efforts on behalf of the Zionist dream, and the Jews of Palestine prior to independence … we might not have a State of Israel today. I find myself deeply moved by our own recent history which began long before Statehood was declared.
The dream of our promised biblical homeland, united Jews across the oceans. It did not matter whether we were wearing long black coats or short skirts… whether we lived in the shtetels of Eastern Europe or in modern nations… whether we wore a head covering or exposed long tresses… whether we were from Sephardi or Ashkenazi origins. We were united in understanding how important it was for us to have a safe haven in the land of our forefathers. We had experienced pogroms in every land, the horrific attempt to murder us all by the Nazis in Europe, and the loss of close to half of our population world-wide. Those of us who were still standing… knew what must be done.
When immigrants came to tame the arid desert…to rid it of the mosquito infested marshes… to till the land… to build kibbutzim, and to create a viable society to sustain those who would arrive in the future, we were united. As wars were fought for our very survival, and our sons and daughters gave their lives to protect us all, we mourned our losses, We understood that the dream of our nation state held a terrible price-tag, but one worthy of our very lives.
What the Jews of Israel have accomplished in the past 75 years of statehood, has set an example for the entire world. This is what mankind can accomplish with a passion for what is right and just. This is the personification of being “a light unto the nations.”
Our detractors, who wish us gone from this land and from this earth have gone to massive efforts to negate our history, and our accomplishments. They have even convinced some of our “own” that we should feel shame, rather than pride… encouraging them to join forces with those who wish to reverse history and defame the Jewish State.
It is our own fault if our own people are not proud and fall victim to their enemies. It is our responsibility to be proud , stand-proud , and inculcate our sense of accomplishment and purpose in those who have no memory of what has brought them to this glorious moment in time.
Fast forward seventy-five years. A nation divided … by those whose own greed surpasses their appreciation for the efforts of millions world-wide… in addition to those who gave of their own flesh, and the families who suffered heartbreak in order to bring us security and independence.
This greed takes many forms: The greed for power… the avarice for money… the coveting of a specific way of life with no regard to the other citizens who inhabit the land. When did “co-existence” become so uncomfortable that angry leaders could encourage our people to fight one another and create a civil war? When did the individuals who care only for their own needs take precedence over the existential need and the very purpose of the Jewish State of Israel?
Keep your eyes focused on those who lead the charge to tear us apart. Look at their massive wealth… and how they acquired it. Look at their lust and attempted grab for power. Look at the nations which support the efforts to tear the fiber of our accomplishments apart, and ask exactly what their purpose is in encouraging … even financing…our internal unrest? Ask yourselves what is it that the leaders of this unrest are so afraid of? Is it really that they worry they will not be able to use a bus on Shabbat? Is it really about high moral issues that they encourage divisions among us?
If we allow ourselves to forget all that was sacrificed so that we can live in our own land… our external enemies will have won their battle without lifting a gun or using nuclear weapons. Our strength comes from knowing right from wrong. Our strength comes from caring for one another… regardless of our religiosity, regardless of our customs, regardless of the color of our skin…. or our country of origin.
Our strength comes from the vigilance of our memories… of what brought us to this land… of those who have sought to destroy us from without…and within. It is our depth of character which will bring us back to rationality and dispose of those who seek to destroy our memory and pride in whom we have been, what we have accomplished, and the unimaginable wonders which lay before us.