Beyond the Cusp

May 3, 2017

Israel Just Turned Sixty-Nine

 

The renewed State of Israel just turned sixty-nine in the usual emotionally roller-coaster ride. In Israel there is an unique lead in to celebrating the rebirth of the nation state for the Israelite People, also known in modern time as the Jews (more on that in a bit). A little while before the celebratory day we commemorate the remembrance of those lost in the Holocaust. Then the day immediately before Independence day we commemorate all those who have fallen in our defensive struggle to remain a thriving and wonderful nation, but we might be a tad bit biased as citizens living in Israel and very happy with our choice to make Aliyah. Memorial Day includes the soldiers and civilians including Christians, Muslims, Arabs, Bedouins, Druze, Baha’I, other racial and religious peoples who are represented in the society which is Israel and, of course, the Jews. Memorial Day also includes all of the above who have died or suffered debilitating and life altering injuries due to terrorism. Needless to point out, this is a very solemn day filled with tears and sorrow until sundown. That is when a transformation takes place that unless witnessed is impossible to envision. Sundown on the Jewish calendar marks the start of the next day, Independence Day and some of the highest spirits and joyous occasions in all of Israel. People dance in the streets, sing joyously, some pray, some chant their prayer aloud in the street, others soak it all in and are filled with a satisfaction and a warm glowing joy. Then there are of course speeches by politicians (something we unfortunately cannot prevent as they will talk, that is their job, to talk us into submission), singing (this is great usually even if in Hebrew and you do not yet speak Hebrew), dancing both with and without singing, music and in the midst of all this they launch a good half an hour or more of fireworks, and all this is in the town center of one of the smaller cities in Israel. If one wished to sit atop one of the twenty or thirty story building’s roofs, then they could gather in the little fact that the suburbs, other downtown neighborhoods, the neighboring Kibbutzim and all over the area there would be other fireworks and the sky would light up in sparkling explosions and bright sprinkles of joy in almost every direction one would look, well, except west as the Mediterranean Sea is west of our town.

 

Well, time for a short bit of history and why Israelite became to be known as Jews. If one were to take the refounding of the State for the Israelite People with Jerusalem as their Capital City, then Israel in approximately three-thousand-one-hundred-fifty-years old. That is because somewhere between 1,000 BCE and 1150 BCE King David took an elite group from his army and entered Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) in the middle of the night and took care of the majority of the night guard, took over the main gates and opened them to allow the rest of the Israelite army to enter Yerushalayim. From that day forward, Yerushalayim became the Capital City of Israel and the Israelite People such that wherever they would reside they prayed facing Yerushalayim. Many of their services, especially the Passover Haggadah, end with the final phrase of, “Next Year in Yerushalayim.” History would note that King David’s son, King Solomon would build the Temple to Hashem allowing for a place for Hashem’s presence on Earth to settle. The Ark of the Covenant rested within the Holy of Holies, the central chamber within a chamber within the Temple. Only the Cohen Gadol (Heb. כהן גדול) was permitted to enter and then only on Yom Kippur when he was to atone and account for the people’s sins and the state of Israelite society and its reverence towards Torah. The Cohen Gadol would have a strong narrow rope capable of dragging his remains from the chamber attached to his ankle in case the recounting went badly. There are many accountings of attributes, the positions the Cherubim would face atop the Ark of the Covenant and other strict rules on how the Cohen Gadol was to prepare for entering the Holy of Holies. Let it rest that we are quite glad that we could never qualify for the position.

 

There was the instance when during a war the Israelites lost the Ark of the Covenant allowing the Ark to be captured in a battle they lost because they took the Ark of the Covenant without having been instructed by Hashem to do so. Things went quite badly for whatever city it was harbored. City after city would pass it off to save themselves and finally they begged the Israelites to take the accursed item back and never to allow it in their lands again. The Israelites took the Ark of the Covenant back with great joy and great care in handling the Ark. The Temple was subsequently destroyed by the Babylonians and the Ark of the Covenant was nowhere to be found and has remained in hiding ever since. Also between the building of the First Temple and the Babylonian conquest and destruction of Yerushalayim and the Temple when Solomon dies the nations split into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom held ten tribes plus their priests and was named Israel and the southern nations was called Judea as it was made up of Juda and Benyamin, two tribes and Juda was the larger of the two. Judea also controlled Yerushalayim. The Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel and never were they heard from until recently since the formation of the State of Israel, where these tribes emerge from around the globe and have proven genetic links to the Nation of Israel and the Israelite People. They were, and oft still are, referred to as the ten lost tribes of Israel. The Southern Nation continued until the Roman dispersion and their people were referred to as Judeans, which over time shortened and shortened until Judean became Jude and finally simply became Jew.

 

While in captivity, the Babylonians demanded our Priests sing songs for them so they wrote the Song of Babylon, which includes a very strong reference to the special place Yerushalayim plays in the lives of the Israelites. The Song of Babylon is also known as Psalms – Chapter 137 and those special lines are below.

Sing for us of the song of Zion.
How shall we sing the song of the Lord on foreign soil?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill (lose its cunning and strength)
May my tongue cling to my palate (roof of my mouth), if I do not remember you,
if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my joy.
Remember, O Lord, for the sons of Edom, the day of Jerusalem, those who say,
“Raze it, raze it, down to its foundation!”

Babylon fell to Cyrus the Great who received the title of Great because he allowed the Israelites to return home to rebuild their Temple and worship Hashem. Truth be told, just as in Egypt with the Exodus, far less than half the Jews took the offer to return and reclaim their lands and make them productive. Many claim that both times the number was merely ten percent, we like to believe we could get at least double if not two and a half times as many, a full quarter of the Israelites. But many remained throughout the Persian Empire. Things went well until a descendent of one of the Israelites old enemies came back to haunt them. His name was Haman and he was the Visor (top advisor) to King Achashverosh. King Achashverosh called for his wife, Queen Vashti and her reply was, “No.” This angered King Achashverosh so he had her removed from her position as the Queen by beheading her. King Achashverosh held a contest to choose a new wife; a Jewess named Esther won and became Queen of Persia. Haman persuaded King Achashverosh that the Jews were a threat to his throne and had a Royal Order sent to all the regions that the Jews be killed on a set day. Esther’s Uncle Mordechai told her of these plans and asked her to intervene with the King, which at first she shrank from the task, but was persuaded to act. King Achashverosh could not repeal his first order so he issued a new order demanding that the Jews fight back and let the true people persevere. Haman and his sons hanged on the very gallows they had built to use on the Jews and on that fateful day the Jews won out and more anti-Semites died that day than any other day in history.

 

After this, there was a brief period of calm and then came the Greeks and Alexander who found circumcision to be abhorrent as they worshiped the human form and thought people to be born with perfection and it was an anathema to them to cut or change the body in any manner. Many Jews could not accept their making circumcision illegal and circumcision was simple to discern and once detected they faced sentencing to death. This caused them to live hidden in the caves of the Judean Hills away from the prying eyes of the Greek soldiers and officials. The Jews survived the Greeks despite many Jews being tempted and turning to following the Greek worship of idols. These were called Hellenized Jews and were very similar in many ways to the American and European Jews who have slowly over the years turned from their religion and now act as if they were gentiles in all manners except for attending church, but then many Europeans and a fair number of Americans, mostly leftists, also do not attend church. Then the Romans came replacing the Greeks and not much changed until the Jews managed to win their freedom briefly from the Romans who returned in force, defeated the Jews, and passed new restrictive laws in the hope it would break their will and force them to be Roman. Apparently, they were not familiar with Torah where the Israelites are often referred to as a stiff-necked people and stubborn beyond measure. The Jews managed the impossible and threw off Roman Rule a second time, Rome sent several legions, and this defeat was definitive. They dispersed much of the Jewish population to the far corners of their empire and everywhere in between with the hope that this dispersion would be the end of the Jewish People. Rome understood that a people without any connection to land became weak-willed and soon lost any mutual ties and became estranged and their being a nation terminated. The Jews were different because they were not tied to the land as much as they were tied to Torah, and the Romans could not take Torah away from the Jews, they had it memorized along with commentary, customs, celebrations and every iota which was within. This was the precious heritage that they passed on generation-to-generation and what kept the Jewish People defined as a people. It is Torah, which also is found in some traceable form that most of these tribes being discovered still observe to this day. They continue to observe the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday and hold the Seder for Passover and every other tradition plus a few new ones commemorating great miracles in their lives.

 

Timeline of Ancient Israelites from Abraham to the Roman Conquest

 

All of this brings us to the pertinent question, did Israel just turn sixty-nine as it was born in 1948, or was this the celebration of Israel turning somewhere around three-thousand-two-hundred-fifty years old from the anointing of the first King of Israel, King Saul? But that leaves out Moses which brings us to this being the three-thousand-four-hundred plus years old and even this is incomplete as the very first Israelite to live in the land of Israel was Abraham and from his founding of the start of a family, a religion, the following of Hashem and the rules he would teach to Moses all placed within Torah along with the History of a people. So the origin of the Israelite People and the Jewish religion begins with our Patriarchs and Matriarchs named Abraham, Izaak, and Jacob along with Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel. This makes this birthday approximately the four-thousand-seventeenth birthday as Abraham was estimated to have arrived in Canaan somewhere around 2000 BCE. The timeline above places Abraham appearance to be 2166 BCE, which makes our final approximation four-thousand-one-hundred-eighty-three years old, so have a happy, healthy and wonderful 4183rd birthday Nation of Israel. As we are writing this on Independence Day afternoon, we need to go to a picnic because in Israel we celebrate Independence Day much as it is everywhere, we go to morning religious services and a Bar-B-Q in the afternoon where there is lots of Kosher meat and no ice cream, it’s that meat and milk thing, so, good-bye for now.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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May 11, 2016

Israel Remembrance and Independence Day

 

Today is Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron), and tomorrow is Israeli Independence Day (Yom Haatzmaut). On the Gregorian calendar it will be on Sunday, May 15, but on our Hebrew calendar it is tomorrow. There will be fireworks and celebratory activities all across this small but vital nation and the vitality will definitely be on display for all to see. But that independence came at a price which must be respected and have its day which is why we have Remembrance Day, or Memorial Day, one day before, today. Today we mourn all those lost to anti-Semitic terrorism, anti-Zionist terrorism and anti-Israel terrorism which have a shared root directly related to Independence Day and a more historic foundation, for some possibly remembrance also goes back in their hearts ever further than the official definitions. Officially we are remembering all those lost to terrorist strikes, all our soldiers lost in the battles and wars we have been forced to fight to continue to even have a nation, the six million souls lost in the Holocaust and for me the souls lost to the wars fought as recorded in the Bible and to all the pogroms, cleansings and other atrocities all but impossible to imagine from both sides of the great history of the Jewish People. Most people are familiar with only the modern anti-Semitic history of Europe and Russia and are unfamiliar with the similar history for those Jews who resided amongst the Arab world as well as Spain where when the Muslims were pushed back across Gibraltar and back into Northern Africa that the Jews too were cleansed from Spanish lands despite that the Jews were often victims alongside the Christians when there was persecution in Muslim lands against the non-Muslims. And then there was the particularly troublesome part in the Holy Lands.

 

The conquest of the Holy Lands by Islam, then the Crusaders, then Islam, then more Crusaders and finally Islam, took its toll on the Jews still residing in our homeland but powerless to free it of either curse. Both were a curse as when the Muslims attacked, the Jews were slaughtered right along with the Christians; and when the Crusaders attacked, the Jews were slaughtered right along with the Muslims. The one constant was whoever was trying to conquer the Holy Land and Jerusalem in particular, the Jews were always on the wrong side as far as the attackers were concerned and often we were also seen as part of the enemy to whoever was defending against the attack; so the killing of Jews wholesale was always the outcome. These Jews I also remember because their only sin was to be living in our natural and ancient homeland. We had been thriving in this homeland when these forces of religious intolerance were still sacrificing their own to idols, before the Roman Empire, before Alexander the Great, before Darius and Cyrus and the Persians and before the Babylonians and Phoenicians and were only preceded by the Egyptians of that era, a different group than today’s Egyptians, the Minoans and the Hittites, Moabites and other peoples who existence has disappeared into the dust and only records stand in edifices still baffling modern engineers and archeologists. All the fallen throughout Jewish history should be remembered even if they also have their own holiday as they also were defenders of these lands.

 

 

Sculpture Dedicated to Soldiers Depicting Fallen Soldier

Sculpture Dedicated to Soldiers Depicting Fallen Soldiers

 

 

One might ask why dampen our spirits one day before our celebrating the wondrous miracle of the reestablishment of our ancient land into the modern world? The answer is so that we never forget and Never Again has additional meanings. And not to fret, the greatest transition in a national mood can be witnessed tonight as Jews across Israel go from somber remembrance to unbridled joy in a matter of seconds. We have had a history which has prepared us well for such shifts in our national mood. Remember Haman from the Megillah of Esther where we went from condemned to all be murdered across the Persian Empire in a single day and were instead decreed we would be permitted to defend ourselves without punishment from the King and we triumphed and survived by the thinnest wisp of smoke once again. We had faced similar threats before and would again and again as we are again today as most of the Islamic world has sworn to destroy us starting with our “partners for peace” the Arab Palestinians and Hamas, Hezballah, Islamic State and Iran and those are just for starters. Do not get us going down this road because it is not a road for great worry, we have faced these odds before and we are still here, and I do mean here as in right here in our ancient homelands where we belong no matter what the United Nations or the community of nations and a special shout down to the European Union and all the rest in Europe who support whoever is fighting against Israel despite our posing them no threat. We have survived threats just as severe before and we will very likely face others just as dire in the future. When your peoples have survived for over three-thousand-years you have some history and you have faced threats to end your existence and survived and thus are confidant, rightfully so, that you will continue to do so.

 

There are stories of rulers from France to Russia to the tips of Africa where they asked their wise men and advisors to define or explain such concepts as eternity, the Creator and a whole list of other things which defy definition as they imply that which is limitless and will last throughout the ages even well beyond their empire or other human measure of time and the answer given was always the Jews. Mark Twain once wrote, “The Eternal Jew” which reads:


If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him.

He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, and no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.
All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

 

His commentary is a good place to leave these thoughts. Today in Synagogue we will all say prayers of remembrance and tomorrow we will quote prayers which are triumphant, one of the rare moments we do so. Then again, after three-thousand-years we have good reason to celebrate the fact we are still here to attend services but first to the memory of all who made our continued existence their worthy sacrifice and to Hashem who has walked with them whether they knew so or not. And perhaps that is the thread that binds the Jew to their heritage and gives them their spark, Hashem and His Torah which has been the glue that binds every Jew to his brothers and sisters no matter their path through the ages. Our thanks to our soldiers, our defenders and a remembrance to those from amongst our midst, the great sacrifices that were made and to our future; and may it serve Hashem well, with pride and humility, another opposing set of ideals we Jews have learned to hold simultaneously, or are at least still mastering.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 5, 2014

Israel to Span Emotional Gamut in Two Days

Yesterday at sundown Israelis turned the calendar to the new day as we do every sundown. This turn of the page marked the beginning of Israeli Memorial Day when we remember the military and security men and women who gave their lives in service to Israel and the Israeli people and we remember all those who perished resulting from terrorism. When sundown today ends Memorial Day and Israelis move to the next day the mood swings to the other end of the spectrum as we celebrate Israeli Independence Day, the anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel. This fulfilled a dream shared by Jews the world over for close to two thousand years that we would return to the lands of our ancient homeland, the land where King David ruled uniting the tribes of Israel and King Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem. The marriage of these two events on consecutive days allows Israelis to celebrate the glorious and miraculous rebirth of the Jewish nation but only after we remember and commemorate those who gave everything to make this miracle possible and sustain that Jewish State. What better way to commemorate these two days than to remember some of the facts and clear up some of the misconceptions which seem to become more accepted than is the reality and truths which are being blurred and concealed in the broad ranging efforts to destroy the Jewish State of Israel.

 

The most grievous misconception is that the Arab terrorism is driven by the Jewish settlements on their lands of their occupied state of Palestine, a state with a long and rich heritage and history. The Palestinian story line is that the Jewish people never lived in the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the two Temples were never built on the Temple Mount or anywhere else referring to them as fables and children’s stories, and that Israel was built on the ruins of the ancient nation of Palestine. Palestine is a mispronunciation of the Roman name given to the areas of the Middle East which include what is today Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria which the Romans renamed after a revolt by the Jews against Rome in an attempt to erase Jewish history. The Romans named the region Syria Palaestina using a Roman approximation of the name of the Jews ancient enemies, the Philistines. After the fall of Rome the area continued to be called Palaestina or Palestine and much of the area became a wasteland with sparse population. During the entire time from the Roman exiling the majority of the Jews to the far corners of their empire, often selling them into slavery, there remained a core number of Jews living in the region and for much of the time Jews were the majority population in the city of Jerusalem. Starting in the middle of the nineteenth century the Zionist movement was born and Jews slowly but steadily began returning to their ancient homelands which were at that time a part of the Ottoman Empire. After World War I ended the Zionist movement gathered their resources and lobbied to have Israel reestablished along with the other new nations being formed out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire and now under Mandates to the allied powers which were victorious in the World War.

 

The area where the Jews desired to rebuild their homeland was under British control and was referred to as the Mandate for Palestine. The Zionists’ efforts were successful and the British established the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and which was the source for the San Remo Conference that gave the backing of the League of Nations in support of the Balfour Declaration, and tasking the British to establish the Jewish homeland in the areas referred to as the Mandate for Palestine. From the end of World War I until the founding of Israel in 1948 the term Palestine as used in numerous British and League of Nations legal papers referred to the Jews living within the British Mandate region. When the British or League of Nations referred to the native Arab population they used the terms Arab or Palestinian Arab. The British census data for the Mandate area showed that the Arab population increased in parallel to the Jewish population and mostly they moved to the area to take advantage of new employment opportunities. At no point in history has there been an Arab or any other nation with the name Palestine.

 

As far as Arab-Jewish violence we always hear about how it is because of the Israeli settlers living on Arab lands that the Palestinian Arabs resort to terrorism. The problem with this claim is it does not explain the majority of the terrorism committed against the Jews by the Arabs. Some of the worst terrorist attacks were the riots in Hevron and Jerusalem which include the 1920 riots where six Jews were killed and some 200 injured in Jerusalem during the dates of April 4 to 7; in early May of 1921 there were riots in Jaffa and Petah Tikvah, instigated by the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin, which left 43 Jews dead; the week of riots from 23 to 29 August, 1929 where 133 Jews were killed by Arabs and 339 others were injured; and there were the Arab uprisings from 1936 through 1939 which were largely aimed at the British but included attacks on Jewish neighborhoods. All of these attacks on Jewish residents of the British Mandate lands occurred well before there was even a state of Israel, let alone any occupied area by the Jews. If anybody was occupying the area, it was the British between the end of World War I and the founding of Israel in 1948.

 

There were numerous terrorist attacks before June of 1967 with a definitive and marked increase starting in 1964 with the formation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which was headed by Yasser Arafat and one of his top leaders was none other than Mahmoud Abbas. Both men fully supported, planned and aided the commission of many terrorist strikes with the most famous of the terror strikes aided by Mahmoud Abbas was the arranging of much of the training and established the financing for the Munich Olympics attack on the Israeli athletes in 1972. The claims that the PLO was founded solely in response to Israeli occupation of Palestinian Arab land is shown to be obviously false as the organization was founded in 1964, a full three years before the Six Day War which established the contested lands. The PLO Charter in its original form called for the destruction of Israel and the formation of an Arab state named Palestine on the to be liberated lands which were all of Israel within the 1949 Armistice Lines. The original goals of the PLO distinctly did not call for the conquest and formation of a Palestinian state in Gaza or the Jordanian held West Bank, actually ancient Judea and Samaria. Terrorism also seemed to slow during the late 1970s and through much of the 1980s and did not return to the levels seen immediately after the formation of the PLO until after the Oslo Accords were signed and Yasser Arafat and the leadership of the PLO were returned from their exile in Tunisia. It was the reinitiating of the so-called peace process which brought back a full-on return of terrorist attacks on the Jews both in Judea and Samaria and within the 1949 Armistice Lines including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. 

 

The other groups of men and women honored today are the soldiers who died defending Israel. Their names start with the over six-thousand lost in the First War to Annihilate Israel and the Jews during 1948 – 1949. This war came about when the Arab League chose to refuse to accept an even patrician of the twenty-two-percent to form a Jewish state and an Arab state and instead attacked the nascent state of Israel the morning after she declared her independence the evening before as the new day begins at sunset. There were five complete Arab armies which included Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan along with additional troops provided by Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and several militias and the Palestinian forces under the Mufti of Jerusalem. The six-thousand Israeli deaths totaled a horrifying ten-percent of the Israeli population; a very high price was paid. During the earliest stages of the war some of the men sent into battle had just arrived and gotten off one of the refuge ships and were trucked to the front and handed a rifle and pointed towards the Arab forces. These untrained refugees, many of whom had never held a firearm, let alone know anything about tactics and warfare, often paid a frightening cost in losses in their initial assault. There have been stories of these new arrivals actually singing as they entered battle gleeful to be in their homeland even if they were walking into battle on their arrival. There was another attempt to destroy the state of Israel in 1967 and again in 1973. Since 1973 the Arabs have taken up a new tactic trying to politically destroy Israel through propaganda and sewing hatreds throughout the world and especially in the United Nations.

 

This gives a brief thumbnail sketch of the Israelis as we stand and contemplate their sacrifice, even those who were murdered by acts of terrorism. We pay our respects by visiting the graves of those we knew and often those we may not have known but are laid to rest in a military cemetery or near to somebody we know and we see a grave untended. Memorial Day is a day where despite our grief we also come in contact with the fact that as Jews we are all part of a large family, there are no strangers and every single casualty is a relative no matter how many steps removed. We honor those who sacrificed everything so that we can live in our own lands and be protected by our own military, a gift the Jewish People had not known for almost two millennia. We also commemorate those who were victims of hatreds so base and cruel they are willing to murder infants sleeping in their own home. Hatreds that drive some to hurl cinderblock size boulders through vehicle windows which have resulted in numerous youths and infants receiving grievous injuries with some passing before their time and at the youngest of ages. We mourn teachers, students, friends, neighbors and just fellow Israelis for it is often said in Israel that when one is murdered we all feel the sense of loss for almost nobody in Israel has escaped the loss of a loved one or know somebody who has. On Memorial Day we mourn as a nation.

 

That brings us to tomorrow. Prophesy stated that the land of Israel, the Jewish State would return in a single day, and miraculously that is basically what happened. Not only was an ancient nation reborn but its ancient language which had not been in general use also for close to two thousand years also was given a new life. The New Hebrew language did face some challenges as new words and phrases were immediately a necessity as there were so many items, goods, occupations and other concepts which did not exist when Hebrew was last used in a general manner. We rejoice for being granted to witness and be a part of the renewal of an ancient land and its ancient culture and are here witnessing the returning of the Jewish People to their ancestral homelands. It is said that Israelis can find a celebration in almost any event, so imagine how we treat something like the rebirth of Israel and everything that that means to us. In the play “Fiddler on the Roof” there is a verse in the song “To Life” which goes as follows;

“God would like us to be joyful

Even though our hearts lie panting on the floor;

How much more can we be joyful,

When there’s really something to be joyful for.”

Today we remember and solemnly thank those who did what was necessary so we could celebrate tomorrow, and tomorrow we celebrate the ultimate blessings from Hashem; tomorrow we collectively exclaim, “Baruch HaShem!”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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