Israel and Me: A Yom Ha’atzmaut Reflection
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Looking back on a wonderful day of our 66th Yom Ha’Atzmaut – 66 years of our modern day miracle – I wanted to send out a quick thought to everyone. There are so many wonderful articles and viral videos out there that celebrate Israel, show the beauty of Israel, describe the holiness of Israel, and share so many great things about our wonderful little homeland, that packs a real big punch! Israel truly is amazing.

So you might ask – why bother writing yet another “thing” to put on the e-waves out there? There is plenty to keep us busy and inspired watching and reading!

However, there is one piece I would like to add to the landscape which I haven’t
seen, and think is worthwhile. I only share it, because it relates to me, and thought that maybe it could be of use to you.

I noticed that with all of the great posts out there, I found that I didn’t take a good few moments to REALLY ponder what Israel means to me, and what I can do to strengthen that bond. After all, I am of the generation that does not know of a world without Israel, as it was always in my existence. (Chances are if you are reading this on FB, you are also of a similar generation, the “post- 1948 generation.”) I’ll admit – while I LOVE Israel, I do take her for granted.

And then it dawned on me – maintaining and growing any meaningful relationship has 3 important aspects:

1. You cannot take the other for granted. You must find a way, ideally every day, to appreciate what makes them special. Especially special to you.

2. You have to get to know more about the other, and constantly be learning more about them in order to deepen that bond. There are always so many different things to learn about.

3. You must invest in that relationship. You can’t just be a taker – but you must also be a giver. Giving comes in many ways.

So that is the small piece I would like to add. Namely, This is not only a day to celebrate Israel, but to strengthen our bond with and too her!

There are 3 ways I can see this playing out:

1. You just read it and ponder it. That’s good!

2. Share a comment about the above, and ways that you think any of the 3 points can be furthered. That’s great!

3. Let’s get a group of committed people together and create something called “Israel and Me” (We meet towards the end of May

and plan out some great things to further our connection to Israel throughout 2014/2015. I’ve got some great ideas…you probably do too! If you are interested in that – awesome! Who knows what we can do!)

Wishing you a Chag Yom Ha’Atzmaut Sameach and may you walk away from this day and everyday forward feeling a stronger connection to our homeland

– Rabbi Rafi