Latest update: July 3rd, 2012
How do we rectify the sin of the spies? By doing the exact opposite of what they did. We need to love Israel with all our hearts, and to take every measure that is antithetical to rejecting it. Because the original sin was committed through slanderous speech and scare tactics, we can repair the damage by focusing on positive, empowering speech for Israel. That is not so easy, because we live in a media culture where negativity reigns, and where slander is the norm.
So the Yishai Fleisher Team and our amazing partners around the world are issuing a first-of-its-kind challenge – and we are calling it Caleb’s 40 Days 4 Israel.
For the 40 days that the spies traversed the land and prepared their negative report – from the 29th of Sivan to the 9th of Av – we will say only good, uplifting things about Israel.
- We will refrain from saying negative things about life in Israel ["The streets are dirty", "The bureaucracy is impossible", "I can't stand Hareidim/Chilonim/Religious Zionists"]
- We will refrain from fear mongering ["Iran is going to nuke Israel", "We must bow to world pressure", "You can't make a living there"]
- We will do our best not to imbibe negative messaging from our friends, family and even media. We will do our best to consume positive stories and take in positive energy.
- We will express only good sentiments about Israel, and actively search out and share affirming experiences, stories, places and individuals. We will promote positivity.
This is a speaking diet, designed to cleanse us from the false paradigm that the media, and our own Jewish cantankerousness, have fashioned. It need not bleed to lead. We cannot ask CNN to stop bashing us if we are going to do it in our own outlets and around our own dinner tables. If we are to be a light unto the nations, then let us broadcast light. By challenging ourselves to amend our speech we can help close a wound that wants to heal after two-thousand years of pain. And by speaking well of the land of Israel, we will melt all the fears and the doubts that fill our hearts today and we will ignite a burning desire in our nation to fall in love with our homeland, and to finally make it our home. Be part of it.
In the next few days we will help you be a positive broadcaster for Israel through Facebook and Twitter (hashtag #40Days4Israel). You do not have to use Facebook or Twitter to participate you can simply check a special campaign website called 40Days4Israel (coming soon) for great positive content every day. We will be putting up posts from great folks like: Zev Stub from Janglo.net, Rabbi Shimshon Nadel, David Ha’Ivri, Rabbi Tuly Weisz at Israel365, Rabbi Mottle Wolf at InwardBound, Lorelei Kude from Radio Free Nachlaot, Rabbi Shlomo Katz an inspirational musician and teacher, Rabbi Chaim Richman founder and director of The Temple Institute, and of course from the JewishPress.com, and many more to come. You can share what you find on our website or anywhere else through email, or make a positive speech campaign around the water cooler at work, at the grocery store, on the phone, or wherever you run into your friends and family. We also want to hear and share your positive ideas, stories, photos, and videos too.
If you have something in mind to share now or later, send it to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Yishai Fleisher is the Contributing Editor and PR manager at the JewishPress.com, and Israel's only English language broadcast radio show host (Galey Yisrael 106.5FM). Yishai is an Israeli Paratrooper, a graduate of Cardozo Law School, and the founder of Kumah ("Arise" in Hebrew), an NGO dedicated to promoting Zionism and strengthening Israel's national character. Yishai is married to Malkah, they have two children, and they live on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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