Well, Israelis are under attack again and we are again paying a price. But this attack is not only the terror rockets aimed indiscriminately against civilians which by all definitions is a war crime, but the greater battle is in the media, leaders and people of the free world who have again chosen silence. I wrote last week of the dehumanization of Jews and Israel. I will not repeat this, but the real war is one of Ideas and the right of little Israel to exist as a Jewish state.
I will now return to the original ideas that I wanted to write in my blog. The Torah portion of Acharai Mot which we just read states — “You shall observe my statutes and my ordinances, which of a man shall do he shall live by them, I am the Lord.”
A key part of this as Rabbi Lord Sacks explains is that We shall live by them. Rabbi Sacks has campaigned for many years that Religion, as described, should choose Life over Death.
He writes – Religious terror is rife, especially in the name of Islam. When we murder in his name, God weeps. So, we have to change the narrative. God and Israel are zealots for Peace. The Jewish people and Israeli people choose Life, Love and Peace. Jews and Israel are supposed to and want to inspire and bring blessings to the whole world.
So, my friends, we need to change the narrative. We need to get our message out there to the world. We need to challenge the leaders, the average Joe of the righteousness of our cause, and explain clearly how Religion should choose life and not be used to destroy life like radical Islam is propagandising.
So, how do we change the narrative? We can start by having and showing Hakatov Tov – Gratitude to :
- Our leaders
- The IDF
- Ane fellow Israelis
It is very easy to complain about this and that. We all sure very frustrated by the leadership in this current Gaza situation. But we have to recognize the good and show appreciation.
I feature, here a Video clip from 1973 with Reb Shlomo bringing comfort to our soldiers, which illustrates both Gratitude and Compassion. A truly moving message for those who sacrificed their lives and bodies so that we be free in our beloved Country.
I also share a story that has been publicised involving our Prime minister as related by Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu. This was related to me by Rabbi Shlomo Kimchi from Efrat, whose own story is worth reading as a role model of true Zionism. https://mizrachi.org/speaker/rabbi-shlomo-kimche/
He told me he was on the way to the US to give talks to communities as part of the wonderful Mizrachi Organization 360 program. https://mizrachi.org/israel360/. I asked him what will he talk about. How can one inspire and have an impact on those who happily living in the diaspora?
So, he answered by sharing this story. It is a story of Hakarat Tov.
As we all aware, the bones of the solder of Zechariah Bauman was returned after many years of campaigning. So, the relatives of Zechariah decided a few months ago that instead of complaining they would think of the positive things about the Prime minister and give Hakarot Tov to all the IDF, and the efforts made to return the Body.
They related this to Bibi when he called them in advance of the return of the Body, and Bibi gave over this story.
About the same time, or as stories take a life of their own, or maybe as a result of these positive thoughts, the Israelis discovered something very important security info which was vital for Russia. So, Bibi flew to Moscow to share this info to Putin. They knew this would be an opportunity to ask for Putin’s help, and they made a list of 20 requests, which they whittled down to 3. So, when Bibi gets there, he suddenly had a thought about Zechariah. He forgets the list and starts asking Putin to help get the bones of the soldier back. Putin reacts – bones, this is what you care about. You have my ear, and this is what you ask about. Putin was moved by the compassion and dignity of the request, that he not only agreed to help to get the bones back but was more open to the other requests on Bibi’s List.
So, this story is about the effect of Hakarat Tov showing and having Gratitude.
So, on this independence day, my Prayer and wish is that we show Gratitude and give thanks to God for allowing the miracle of Israel and the opportunity that we have to live in our ancient homeland.