Below are two very thoughtful mini-sagas (responses of approximately 50 words or less) on the topic of Israel in honor of Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day).
Rabbi Michael Berger, a professor at Emory University shared the following:
“To me, Israel is home, family, hub, beloved land, national scrapbook, the Bible in 3-D, a realized modern dream, a state worth sacrificing for – all wrapped up (lovingly, if not so neatly) into one.”
Rabbi Michael Shire, Dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College writes:
“It is hard to come up with 50 words about Israel in the generation in which I am privileged to live with a renewal of the land and people with the State of Israel. With so much hope and aspiration and achievement and with my families and friends living out the reality of our emergent Jewish State, I wonder about its future and its vision. Will it be able ‘to seek peace and pursue it’, will it treat all the inhabitants of the State with equality, will it provide a vision of a contemporary and enlightened Judaism, will it actively seek to eliminate racism, homophobia, xenophobia and victimization? With only 64 years under its belt, it’s not surprising that these questions are as yet unanswered but as we all know people are desperate, wounded and angry in the region and though we do not have to complete the task, we all have to do something in the 65th year to bring blessings to Israel and its neighbours.”
Thank you Rabbis Berger and Shire for your thoughtful reflections.