Respect To The Teenage Pioneer!

For ten years I’ve been on a persistent feat to support, advocate and connect with the State of Israel and all the good it stands for: it’s history, our people, the spirituality, a blooming dessert, of course the insanely tasty food, our protectors, the Bauhaus architecture, the Medetiranian sunset and the ridiculously cool vibes in the beach cities, the taxi drivers (sometimes) and the merchants in the bustling shuk, Jerusalem, the difference of opinion and the resolute attitude to make things work even when there is a difference of opinion, the charismatic character of the everyday folk and that beautiful softness when the prickly attitude begins to fade and the stranger in front of you becomes a brother. This natural attraction toward our Jewish Homeland has lead me to believe that for the good of my family, this is the country we need to be rooted in and call ‘home’.

Let’s move to Israel! Of course, easier said than done, right? As the realities of adult life seep into daily living, with the responsibilities of family and finances, the familiarities and comforts become a louder voice than that sweet sound of ‘the dream’ and a stream forms where we begin to find ourselves swimming against it’s current.

So when my wife and I watched our eldest son walk through airport security at Cape Town International Airport and board a flight, on his own, to begin a high school career and presumably set roots for his future in the Promised Land, an overwhelming sense of serenity infused my entire being.

Chalutz {pioneer}! This word reverberated through the night as I intermittently looked at the Turkish Airlines flight path on my iPhone, the green line slowly making its way northward traveling the African continent until it finally found its destination at 6.30am at Ben Gurion Airport (a sigh of relief, he’s home). It was then I realized that at the sensitive age of fifteen, our young man has joined the ranks of the many others whom placed aside doubt and committed their minds to a dream and the potential for the most awesome future.

The seeds planted through the extensive dedication of the original pioneers, whom against all odds rebuilt confidence and gifted our people with the power of self determination, has blossomed into magnificence. Hundreds of other Jewish teenagers from numerous countries around the globe arrived in Israel to start the new academic year. They are today’s pioneers who have placed aside the comforts of home, the familiarity of friends and the embrace of family to continue building the land, to reach further and create more and to pursue a peaceful future.

These young and courageous teenagers have proven that even with the State of Israel at its peak – as it is today – the ancient dream to return to our Jewish Homeland remains an integral part of Jewish identity, a natural attraction to be ‘home’ and this is relevant to all ages and all stages of Jewish life.

And for me, a wake up call. As the famous chassdic saying goes: ‘action is the main thing’, in other words ‘talk is cheap’.

So here’s to the modern-modern day pioneers. May your trailblazing endeavours prove to be a great success and an inspiring boost for the rest of us to join the ranks and be a part of this great story.

About the Author
Daniel has held various roles in Jewish organizations and, in between, pursues entrepreneurial and creative interests. He believes deeply in Jewish peoplehood.
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