Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Israel

I would have liked to have posted this earlier today, but I was stuck at work all day, so this will have to do. Happy Israeli Independence day.
          When I was in Israel at 18 I remember Yom Ha'atzmaut well. I went to the center of town in Jerusalem with my roommate. Everyone had these baby toy hammers that squeaked and they would bop people on the head with them. It was really silly, but also really meaningful. Where else on earth could anyone be so playful with strangers and there not be a riot?  It really struck me as incredible and this was as a Midwestern Jew who had not yet lived in New York City. It was also electric to see the joy of people dancing in the street in celebration of the Jewish State.
           Israel is not perfect, but what country is? The fact that Jews of all backgrounds live there as a country makes it so special. The fact that it is our homeland is special. Forget the Arab-Israeli conflict. We Jews in Israel and world over need to work on V'ahavta L' rayacha kamocha. . We need to treat our fellow Jews with love and respect, even those Jews who are not exactly as we are. Until this happens we will be in galus.

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