Past and Present Always Mixed Here In Israel

The season of spring in Israel is always a mix of past and present. We spend weeks cleaning, shopping, and preparing for Pesach (Passover) which commemorates our freedom from Egyptian slavery thousands of years ago, and our birth as a Jewish nation.

The week after Pesach is the Holocaust Memorial Day, which coincides with the date of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The week after that is the Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers, and then Israeli Independence Day. On the evening of Independence Day, Israel conducts a ceremony where beacons are lit by people chosen who symbolize various parts of Israeli life. This year one of the lighters will be Moishe Holzberg, the four year old survivor of the Mumbai massacre. Others include volunteers for the fire department, a man who headed the team that interrogated Adolph Eichman, Barbara Goldstein – the deputy director of Hadassah, and a man who does 165 days of military reserve duty a year (!). A very moving part of the ceremony is the fact that each person who steps up to light a beacon introduces himself briefly, and states his name and the names of his parents, with the addition “may they enjoy many more good years” or “may their memory be for a blessing” depending of course, if the parent is alive or has passed away. Each individual is a product of his past – his family first of all. We as Jews acknowledge this. For those of you who understand Hebrew, I encourage you to listen. I encourage those who don’t understand Hebrew and will miss hearing the ceremony on the radio to read the article linked above. The reason that Israel survives is, in addition to G-d’s help, is the strength and heroism of the Jews. It is always inspiring to hear the individual stories that show this heroism.

Of course our fight for survival continues, and is as much a part of our present as it was in the past. The Mossad capture of the engineer Abu Sisi in the Ukraine, as shown here in this analysis in the Jerusalem Post, points out the alarming sophistication of Hamas and its weapons capabilities. Yesterday’s killing of two people in the Sudan by a missile strike from the air is shrouded in mystery, although it points to an Israeli action. Months, or perhaps years from now, we may find out the truth.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. batya
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 16:56:12

    Yes, good post, so Israel…

  2. aliyah06
    Apr 09, 2011 @ 22:46:36

    “Yesterday’s killing of two people in the Sudan by a missile strike from the air is shrouded in mystery, although it points to an Israeli action.” Debka says one was a senior Hamas commander–unclear if the other was Iranian or Sudanese. Involved in the purchase of 2000 mustard gas canisters and 2100 nerve gas canisters (I may have the numbers backward) from Libya’s rebels, who overran Gaddafi’s arms bunkers and sold them for cold cash. These chemical WMDs are now stored in a town in Sudan famous for being an al-Qaeda smuggling depot.Presumably someone in our military is (hopefully) working on a way to destroy them before they are transported to their intended recipients, Hamas and Hezbollah.

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