Leah’s Blog Parahshat Chukat – July 4th
July 4th weekend and thoughts about Patriotism in Israel
OK- so here it goes, you definitely don’t know this about me- when I was young and dumb, life had to teach me a few lessons. Towards the end of my terrible teens I thought I knew better and asked for no advice when signing up to volunteer on a secular kibbutz in Israel, Kfar Hanassi. Baffled at the lack of linkage to anything biblical or even Zionist, I at most heard a lot of Pink Floyd there and basked in the shade of the flag of Britain- the mountains of Samaria were just peeking at me from there in the Galilee but as far away as Mars. The rage then was EST, a kind of self -analysis blah blah blah and of course the budding of a far left ideology that professed disgrace at anything religious or national. I asked myself many a time as I picked avocados in the pouring rain- AM I IN ISRAEL? Standing on a ladder with the freezing rain pouring down my sleeve, I saw it as a labor of love- FOR ISRAEL because I set out to SERVE ISRAEL. Confounded at the cold (isn’t the middle east supposed to be a warm place?),I felt put out . Avocados mature before they can be eaten- I too was maturing, but it would take a bit more time to realize I was ready to move on. Wi Wi Wi- why didn’t I listen to my parents who advised a more traditional setting for me. The volunteers from all walks of life and countries of the world managed to infuse the Israelis there with all sorts of ideas, many left Israel to pursue a life far from the ideal their parents had when setting up the kibbutz. I wondered many years later how they felt about Roger Waters outright anti-Semitic boycott of the Jewish State. My stay there ended as soon as avocado picking season ended. I came to Israel to build and to be rebuilt, not to self- destruct. Exploring other parts of Israel teeming with vitality and mystery, I boldly moved on into the unknown, but this first stop was a harsh lesson that ripened me for adulthood and quite possibly made me the patriot I am today.
Last night on national television here there was a segment about families leaving Israel because of the high cost of living. They interviewed a family from that same kibbutz I first started out at- the message being: “It is not possible to live here.” There were others too, from other places that said- “We want to leave Israel.” – they are called yordim- those who “go down”. What was the message exactly to the millions of viewers? Em, let’s get this right- on NATIONAL T.V. here in Israel- this is the platform of discourse? How many radical NGOs are funding our core sources of news and influence today? There are collaborative and planned attempts to remove and obscure the integrity of Israel through molding opinions through this self -destructive mind set. A populist voice in the name of “progress” today is taking over like a cancer here in our Land. It says lashon hara about our land and those dedicated to it. We have come so far, why put your heart on a bargaining table? Why have a border run through the middle of your homeland? Why pump up ideas like this land eats its inhabitants? Why has patriotism become a dirty word?
The strongest proof of identity is the capacity to be able to morph into new spheres when progress enables growth. Israel is a full -fledged and developed country living in the modern world as one season follows another; the question is- how does she define selfhood? A loss of her heritage IN ISRAEL and her everlasting land covenant sites has us asking about core identity. It can and should move forward as it bridges with more and more countries of the world, but can only do so when its identity is defined though the stepping stones this nation has walked through to get here, without compromise. Today truth is an ambiguous concept- even about core issues like who u are. It’s time we got our advice from people who know our core identity that can never change. Our history goes way back to the beginning when Abraham Isaac and Jacob walked and bought this Land. Now is the time to “go up”. The ownership of the Land of Israel can never be contested, the patriots that live here will make sure of that.
Friends I am attaching our Summer 2022 fundraising letter for life saving projects here on Itamar – please share with your friends and family
Have a beautiful summer and fun weekend