web analytics
August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Happy Re-Birth Day Israel!

Israelis celebrating Israel's Independence Day in Jerusalem

Israelis celebrating Israel's Independence Day in Jerusalem
Photo Credit: Sophie Gordon/Flash 90

YERUSHALAYIM, ISRAEL – Jews the world over rejoice today as the modern miracle of Israel celebrates 64 years. There are those among us who would boycott her. There are those among us who would sanction her. There are those among us that would sing her praises all the while acting against her best interests. The question is – why?

On the right, there are those who are unhappy with the decisions of Israel’s leaders. Firing mid-level officers for doing their job after months and months of “showing restraint” and sending the police to drag Jews out of their homes while allowing massive illegal Arab building to continue unabated in the Galil and elsewhere does not help this cause.

On the left, there are those who are unhappy with the decisions of Israel’s leaders. Passing laws that legalize Jewish settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel, protecting Israel’s civilians with roadblocks and military might while holding hard-core murderers and terrorists in jail does not help this cause.

So who is the “true” supporter of Israel? Who has her best interest at heart? Which side is the right one and which is wrong?

In Israel, there are at least 24 hours a year where this question, for the most part, is put aside. These 24 hours are followed, with nary a second to breathe in between, with 24 more where again, for the most part, these questions are put aside.

Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut – the Day of Remembrance and the Day of Independence – find the vast plurality of Israel standing in unity. We unite as a people at the worst of times – and we also unite as a people at the best of times. We may argue the merits of this decision or that until our faces are blue – but if God forbid something horrible happens – or by the grace of God something great happens, suddenly, left and right unite.

Why? How is it that we can put aside our disagreements, be they petty or of major consequence, at our moments of greatest emotion? Would it not be logical that when emotions are highest and the adrenaline is pumping hardest – we would become more ornery? More upset with each other? More divisive?

No. This is not the Jewish way and it never has been.

We are a people of extremes. We have always been a people of extremes. We have extreme intellectual faculties, extreme opinions, extreme rules, extreme ideas, extreme dreams and extreme ideas. (Please don’t get me started on the extreme levels of pressure we put on ourselves and our children and the infamously extreme levels of Jewish guilt we all live with.)

We are also a people of extreme successes and failures. Just look at the world news – for every Jew winning a Nobel Prize in this discipline or that – a Jew is failing us all and going to jail for his/her crimes. For every victory in the field, there is a failure of command, leadership or political courage that causes us to beat ourselves up from the right, the left, and more often than not – from both. Yet, when faced with the news of each extreme success and each extreme failure – we put aside our differences and look at that person as a brother, a sister, a member of the tribe, for better or for worse – as a fellow Jew.

In his seminal 1956 address Kol Dodi Dofek (The Voice of My Beloved is Knocking) the great Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik zt”l (The Rav) analyzed the miracles of Israel’s re-birth and found at least six knocks of HaShem at the doors of humanity. Each of these knocks, (military, political, educational, religious, sociological, communal) was unique but dependent. They may have been independent knocks but they were all very dependent on one another to be heard and acted upon. The changes that each knock of HaShem represented were in and of themselves extreme – and called for major changes in the global society and the Jewish one if they were to be heard and acted upon. The knocks of HaShem called for an unprecedented and extreme level of unity. The knocks called for an extreme level of hand holding and cooperation between diverse groups who traditionally did not get along.

A people of extremes, the survivors of extreme hate in Europe, Asia, Africa and in fact in America of that era too, were called by HaShem to hear Him knocking for extreme change, to come together in extreme unity and to help Him build an rejoice in an extreme miracle.

We Jews are an extremely tight knit family. Families fight and argue, yell and scream, rant and rave – especially when things are stable. But push a family into the corner, or provide it with reason for celebration – and, usually, family members they will come together in profound and extreme ways.

About the Author: IDF Lt. Col. (Res.) Mike Cohen, PhD is the first traveling scholar appointed by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s Center for Jewish & Christian Understanding & Cooperation, a member of the Ohr Torah Stone Educational System in Efrat, Israel. He is the editor of the recently published book Zionism, Post-Zionism & The Arab Problem (Hebrew: 2011 Gefen Publishers, Jerusalem; English: 2012 Professors Press & Westbow Press). His website is: drmikecohen.info


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Happy Re-Birth Day Israel!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The three salesmen -Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz
Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War
Latest Indepth Stories
Eisenstock-082914

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

MK Moshe-Feiglin

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?

The contrast between the mentality of Israel and the mentality of Hamas was never so loudly expressed as when the Arab killers became heroes and the Jewish killers became prisoners.

There is a threat today representing a new category of missionary:They call themselves “Hayovel.”

Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas.

Is Woodstock still leading the world to destruction?

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

More Articles from Mike Cohen
Israelis celebrating Israel's Independence Day in Jerusalem

We Jews are an extremely tight knit family. Families fight and argue, yell and scream, rant and rave – especially when things are stable. But push a family into the corner, or provide it with reason for celebration – and, usually, family members they will come together in profound and extreme ways.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/happy-re-birth-day-israel/2012/04/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: