Joshua Buchalter

Yom Hashoah, Yom HaZikaron, Yom HaAtzmaut – from the perspective of an Oleh

Judicial reform, months of protest and internal division have continued to be among the most discussed topics in Israel.

However, the past few weeks highlighted three annual events that are consistently able to ignite the same emotional response, regardless of political affiliation or level of religiousness:

– The feeling of despair when remembering the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.
– The feeling of sorrow when remembering the 24,213 casualties of war and 4255 victims of terror.
– The feeling of gratitude when celebrating independence.

Furthermore, experiencing these events have led me to consider three additional similarities that I believe the vast majority of Israelis would agree on – similarities that focus on analysis rather than emotion:

– The absence of a Jewish state allowed for the rise in historical persecution.
– The preserving of a Jewish state requires continuous sacrifice.
– The challenges overcome while developing the state have strengthened the connection to this land.

The issues that have brought the increased division over the past few months are complex and concerning for all Israelis. However, the past week should highlight the fundamental similarities that the vast majority of us continue to have. Similarities that, I hope, will outlast the differences that are threatening our unity

About the Author
Raised in a small town in South Africa, yet through extensive travel and profound experiences decided to catch a one-way flight to the Holy Land in 2020. Reichman University graduate and Argov Fellowship Alumni. Shulman Literacy Cup Recipient for research focused on the secular/religious divide in Israel. Co-Founder of Sparking Minds Gardens. Currently completing his Masters Degree in Diplomacy at Haifa University.
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