Four days ago, most of Israel was either running to and from bombshelters every few minutes, or worried that they would need to at any moment. Today, the entire country came out to celebrate 71 years as an independent state. Parties, fireworks, drinks, dancing. The dichotomy is extreme. Who can go from shelters to street parties in four days?
The short answer is that, well, Israelis can. But the moment of agony to ecstasy is complex and very challenging. The indomitable spirit of the Israeli is hard to explain. It’s rooted in Jewish tradition. To endure the pain and come out of it stronger. To fall, and rise again. To experience unimaginable suffering and discomfort – yet each time, emerge stronge, emerge proud. To always dare, and never cower from challenge. To hope – and act – for a better tomorrow.
As the CEO of an Israeli startup, I feel this daily at work. The typical responses I get from my Israeli employees, advisors or vendors are: “Why not?“ “Everything will be okay,” and “Yalla.” One of my favorite sayings in Israel is, “Le’at, le’at” (“slowly, slowly”). For me, remembering that things will happen in their own time, is important. That not everything can be forced and pushed forward aggressively. That there is no rush. Things will work out. Everything will be okay. “Hakol yihiye beseder.”
It’s hard for me to convey how deeply comforting this attitude is to me. It warms my heart, sings to my soul. No matter the challenge, we can get through it. Today, tomorrow, next year, next generation. We will get through it. Everything will be okay. The eternal people aren’t afraid of a long road.
This is how we go from shelters to street parties within one week. Because we know that the shelter always give way to the street party. That is simply our way. No matter how dark, how hopeless it may seem today – tomorrow the sun will rise again.
The Jewish People rose from the ashes of the Holocaust to rebuild our nation in our ancient homeland. The beautiful land that we yearned for across 100 generations. The little nation that always could. The place where darkness turns into light, where the rays of sun lovingly warm. Where the strength of lions manifests. Where a creative surge lifts mankind, and kindness illuminates the world.
To our fearless state, the tiny giant that teaches us anything is possible, happy birthday. See you next year at the street party.