Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Heroes

In his most recent dispatch, Daniel Gordis writes about the lack of flags in his Jerusalem neighborhood, relative to previous year’s celebrations of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day). He lives there and I don’t, so I can’t be too hard on the guy, but his most recent dispatch was depressing. In fact, his last few have been on the gloomy side. In the end, he rallys a bit and argues against the world-weariness that seems to have engulfed his neighbors. But the overall impression of the article left me feeling deflated.

Contrast that with the Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration my family went to at Yeshivat Rambam in Baltimore. Among the highlights were the daglanut (flag dancing ceremony) where dozens of middle-school students marched and formed joyous patterns with dozens of Israeli flags.

The other highlight was a very special community celebration of families who are making aliyah this year. Each family is brought up to the stage amid wild applause and standing ovations where they light a Candle of Inspiration. These families are our heroes.

They are our heroes because they make aliyah when the current government is misguided… or even corrupt. They make aliyah despite the fact that the outcome of our last war was a major disappointment. They make aliyah even knowing that we have enemies who kidnap our sons and hold them hostage for outrageous demands. They make aliyah knowing that enemies who want to destroy us surround Israel. They make aliyah anyway, because they know there are four inseparable parts of being a complete Jew.

Gd

The Torah

The Jewish Nation

and the Land of Israel.

True, all is not fine and dandy in the Holy Land. But to his eternal credit, Daniel Gordis also taught us that if a place can make you cry... you should live there.

Dear Reader: Please help me find his exact quote.

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