May 3, 2006

I love Israel!!

Happy birthday Israel!!! Happy 58th!! Happy Yom Ha'Atzmaut!! Hag Sameah!! She'nizkeh le geulah shleimah.

I love Israel. I love everything about it. I love the culture. I love the people. I love the country. I love the music. I love the food. Everything. Israel is the place a Jew is meant to be.

Sure there are things some do not like. I will not list them, as there are enough people who complain. I love it here, and none of those things bother me.

Yom Ha'atzmaut is the one day a year when people stop complaining about everything, be it government, be it prices, taxes, society or whatever, and just spend the day loving Israel. Everybody is happy on Yom ha'atzmaut. Israelis remember fondly the tough times, when they were idealistic and the country was special to everybody, despite all the hardships (or maybe because of the hardships?). New immigrants dream about what it must have been like, while trying to integrate and help imrove the future.

We just spent a day remembering our fallen. The juxtaposition of the 2 days is sharp and pronounced. the government set these two days, Memorial Day and Independence Day, to fall out one right after the other. On Memorial Day, we spend our day remembering. We remember those who fell in battle. We remember those who fell in terrorist attack. We remember those who gave their lives so we could live here. It is not just a holiday, as memorial Day is in other countries. here, we really remember. The radio programs spend all day talkign to people about their family members who fell in battle. The songs are slow paced songs fitting for the mood. The television programs are dedicated to the fallen - telling their stories, and each one is a story of heroism and dedication and selflessness. Here, we remember our fallen.

Memorial Day leads right into the celebrations of Independence Day. The music immediately changes tones to upbeat and faster paced. The radio plays mostly the beautiful Shirei Eretz Yisrael, songs of Israel. The beautiful tones and melodies romanticizing the people and the land and the hardships of settling it. The contrast between the two days is sharp. We go from somber moods and solemn consideration of our past, to jubilant celebration of our successes and looking to our future.
Only by remembering the fallen heroes, do we have the right to celebrate the successes of the past and the hope of the future. The fallen soldiers give us that hope and show us the way. Putting these two days together forces us to put things in perspective.

I love Israel. This is the place to be. Here is our past. Here is our future.


  1. Simcha usually is (and I am not even celebrating in the common sense of the term - at wild parties with boppers)

  2. c'mon! Get yourself a bopper! (What are boppers? Can you get them a Burger King along with the woppers?)

    Great Post....

    ...and I'm in the mood for goose liver.

  3. Boppers are those foam or plastic hammers they bop you on the head with. I guess you never spent Yom Ha'Atzmaut on ben yehuda (or at the ampi in BS). Boppers go together with that spray foam...

  4. Well Raf, there's a first for everything. Who'd a thunk a telzer alummi would write such words. Actually, I am very proud( and jealous) of you.

    BUT, let me just say that I too would have freaked out our Rebbeim. Today, for the first time in my life, I saud Hallel on Yom Ha'atmaut! Albeit, without a Bracha. BUT,not only did I say it, I was the Chazan.

    See, I am not as stubborn as you all think - even I can learn a new trick or two! lol

    love ya


  5. Very nice Shaya. But let me just one point out that one thing has nothing to do with the other. Hallel is a halachik decision - were the requirements for saying Hallel met or not is the debate between those who do and do not say hallel. You can love Israel and Eretz Yisrael without saying Hallel. Love for Israel is not what allows one to say Hallel. Nor does saying Hallel show one's love for Israel.
    If you say hallel for a gut feeling, just because you love Israel, you might be doing something wrong and need to clarify if the requirements have been met. (I am not saying you were wrong - I accept both sides of the argument, and they both have basis in halacha. I am just saying, hellel is not an expression of zionism or love of Israel).

  6. I am not disagreeing, and wasn't trying to compare the 2. I was simply saying - Look how far we've come! Forget the halachik aspects of hallel, it has been turned into a political statement as well. Just from a realistic and practical veiw, I was simply saying, hey look. 2 Telzers, who would not have expressed these ideas and opinions years ago, look where they are at. (don't try to tell me Telz loves eretz yisroel. They do, but in a very different vein than what you were expressing).

  7. True, and while I do not consider myself a "Telzer" I do have fond memories of those days and am proud of having learned there. I just did not spend enough time there to call myself a Telzer more than 15 years later. Telz was great but I have have now lived in israel for over 15 years (almost 16) and love it.
    Also, Telz has produced many students who can be found in a variety of walks of life, with varying opinions on things. That might not have been Telz yeshiva's idea and purpose, but they educated us with good learning skills and a good secular education and its graduates are well-equiped to deal in the real world and make decisions. We have drifted from the Telz path, and I am sure it is unusual for telz graduates to be like us, but I am still proud of my time there. and I have no idea what they would think of my style. Nor do I care.

  8. Nice anti-Meraglim post!

  9. RAF - what's eating you? I am by no means "attacking" our time at telz or them directly. I was simply saying that as former talmidim of that specific institution, our current situation in life amuses me with that background, that's all. I appreciate my time there, still go to the telz dinners, and wear my hat every shabbos and yom-tov. They gave me a great background. I was not attacking them. Just amusing myself with reconciling their hashkafa and how we "chose" to believe. That's all. Either I am not as clear a writer as you and my points got all garbled, or you're turning into our mother nd looking to nitpik something to death. Either way - love ya!

  10. Shaya - I know. I got your point. I was just being difficult. I had a tiring day here and was just being difficult.
    You go to the Telz dinners? wow!! I started getting the invites recently. If I was in Chicago I do not know if I would or would not go...

  11. After all reading all these posts, I headed down to Burger King to order a Bopper, fries and coke.

  12. and what did they give you? was it tasty?

  13. I love Israel too. I thin its a great post. I am is my wife....especially my wife :-)

    But I wonder, am I a telzer? or do you have to go there for more then lunch?

  14. lol - that's funny. yes, I think you have to go for more than lunch, though that would apply to most of the yeshivas you went to.. :-)


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