Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Love of Israel

Flags and signs are going up all over Israel - on cars, on buildings, homes and stores...each is a message. A message to our country, to our soldiers, even a message to each other.

Some thank our soldiers; some say we are with them and encourage them to be strong and safe. Some simply say Israel - it is enough. We understand the rest.

Today as I went to my office on Yaffa Street, considered the center of Jerusalem, I noticed that there were, once again, flags flying all along the way. Flags are put up around Independence Day and for some special occasions. In some parts of Jerusalem, as the nation's capital, flags of other nations are put up to welcome dignitaries. For all that the Pope's recent visit was all about the Palestinians and a slap to most Israelis, we welcomed the Pope with the Vatican's flag, fools that we are.

I've seen flags from many countries flying here over the years but today is all about us. When it's about us - there are usually two flags flying. Today, there were three. The flag of Israel, the flag of Jerusalem, and this one...a flag with the symbol of the Israel Defense Forces! 

Israel is so proud of its soldiers and its people who have bravely withstood the bombardment of over 2,000 rockets from Gaza.

A short ago, the FAA canceled the flight ban - it was absurd from the beginning. Someone said there's a regulation that requires them to cancel flights for a period of 24 hours of a missile hits within a certain proximity.

Twenty-four hours later, the ban was indeed canceled and shortly after that announcement was made, the Palestinians tried again - they fired several rockets at central Israel. Those that needed to be shot down were stopped by Iron Dome, the rest allowed to fall in open spaces.

At this point, I'm exhausted - it's been a hard week and I have barely been able to concentrate on anything else but the news. But there is something so amazing about seeing Jerusalem decked out in flags. It's a message to
ourselves. US Secretary of State Kerry is here (or was). UN Secretary General Ban is here (or was). There are no US flags flying in the center of Jerusalem and surely no UN flags here.

Only our flags because ultimately, we have a mission to accomplish. It is our obligation to keep our country safe, to defend itself.

1 comment:

NormanF said...

The one thing I was struck forcefully with and moved at the sight by was the pride the country took in its dead - it embraced them. 30,000 turned out for the funeral of one martyr few of them knew and it was a potent message.

You can kill our sons but we won't be shaken and we won't cower and crumble in the darkest depths of despair. We're resolved to live and we love those who gave their lives for their country just as we love those who are still fighting for it - to restore its honor and its good name.

That is a nearly universal mood in Israel and its a strong one. The very event the enemy hoped would tear Israel apart has made it stronger and brought its people closer together. Human grief has a way of fortifying us physically and spiritually and we realize we're not really alone.

The dead are living, we can draw strength from them as much we draw it from G-d and this life is not all there is. Hamas thinks its greatest weapon against Israel is its love of death. I beg to differ!

I can tell you with sure conviction Israel's greatest weapon against the enemy is its love of life. The positive energy radiating throughout an entire society in its choosing to live is a miracle. The Arabs do not understand Israel's soul and that is why they will lose.

They already lost when all those people turned out for that funeral and this is a sight none of us will never forget and along with faith in G-d, the source of Israel's fortitude is brotherly love. As it says in the Psalms:

MaTov Hine

Matov hine le david ha maalot shir

Gamya khad akhim shevet umanaim

Alkha zakan yored alharosh hatov kashemen

Midotav alpi sheyored zekan aharon

Kisham tsiyon alharerei sheyored


In English:

A Song of Ascents; of David.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard; even Aaron's beard, that cometh down upon the collar of his garments;

Like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life forever.

The blessing of life - while the enemy is cursed with death, Israel is blessed with life forever among brethren who dwell in unity, to which we have been made witness with the sight of our very own eyes.

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