Passing the Torch… Rekindling the Flame

Today I had the pleasure of reading a critique of Bibi Netanyahu’s view of history written by a young student at University of Western Ontario in Canada, Dan Poliwoda. Since he is a college student his age must be between 18-21. The words which he wrote warmed my heart. He has a gift of using words to convey his intended meanings.

From 1958 until my retirement in 2007, I was a university professor of Hebrew language and Biblical history and literature, Jewish history and history of Israel. I cannot recall the number of students who passed in and out of my classrooms during those years, but I estimate it was more than three thousand.

In the early years, my students were more keenly involved with Jewish concerns and were more dedicated to Israel and her survival. In the later years, I found students to be less concerned with Jewish affairs, happy to go on Birthright trips and often forgot about Israel shortly after their return. Ten day trips do not make Zionists or devotees of Israel.

Whereas the earlier years produced 13 rabbis, 3 professors, and Cornell University’s Chairman of the Department of Middle East Studies and Biblical Archaeology….. these were the ones who had kept in touch with me…. the more recent years produced a student body interested in finding jobs that did not require higher education degrees and paid big bucks. Their concerns were generally for themselves, less for Israel.

It gives me immense happiness to read articles sent to The Times of Israel by a younger generation of Jews, students who have deep concerns for Israel and for the perpetuation of Jewish education and culture. They inspire me to realize that we have passed the torch and that they are willing and able to rekindle the flame and keep it burning so that it may be passed to future generations.

In these young gifted people lie the hope and faith of my generation. May God bless them and their efforts. In them, our people will continue to live.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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