We are a nation, that at its roots, is united.
The first week in February 2017 saw tragedy in Israel. Due to a Supreme Court decision, funded by Europe, an entire neighborhood was destroyed. The police came in, evicted the residents, then destroyed all the buildings.
In most places, such an action would shatter a nation into civil unrest, or what could be worse. Instead, the evicted residents did all they could to protest nonviolently. The police did all they could to perform their duties in the most professional way possible.
With so many passionate emotions flying, blood was not shed. There were minor incidents, but the tragic operation was executed without fraternal violence. Even the leaders of the community that was evicted praised the policemen for their sensitivity towards their plight.
At heart, we desire to live in peace with one another, and will look for every reason to do so.
Our street signs serve as an encyclopedia to Jewish greatness.
They are named after Jewish heroes, great Sages of all time, and Zionist leaders of the past one hundred years. Every city has streets named after the Rambam, the Rashbi, and King David.
We also have streets named after Tom Lantos, Menachem Begin, Elie Wiesel, and Albert Einstein.
Purim is a national holiday in Israel.
All of the schools are closed. Kids up to age 18 go to school in costumes. All major cities have live events with national celebrities.
Even business' get into it. Workers dress up. The CEO comes in as a clown! The CTO dresses up as a cook. The head of accounting wears a Rastafarian hat with dreadlocks included.
My children call me Aba (Hebrew for father).
At any place of work, you can kiss the Mezuzah going into the office, and coming out.
I had an interview. It went really well. At the end of the interview I was so grateful that it went so well, I kissed the Mezuzah of the door that the interview took place.
The woman in human resources saw it. Instead of looking at me a little curiously, she smiled. She knew exactly why I kissed the Mezuzah. The next day later she hired me.
It’s something you take for granted that at the end of the day when you walk out of the office, the last thing you do is kiss the Mezuzah. Every office in Israel, from hi-tech, education, government, and commerce, have Mezzuzot on their doors.
Springtime in Israel.
At the beginning of Adar, or early March, we start putting up Israeli flags, and blue and white lights. It’s a run-up to Passover, the holiday of liberation, and to Israel Independence Day, the other holiday of liberation.
We will never forget.
I am sitting in an office. There must be at least 30 conversations taking place simultaneously. The noise level is robust, as it always is. I am among the 40 people not engaged in active conversation, but fixated to my computer screen promoting the business.
Then it happens.
The siren goes off. It is Holocaust Memorial Day. The windows are thick to keep the cool air in during the summer days. It blocks the noise out so nobody would know when the moments of silence begin. In Israel, most corporate buildings have intercom systems that broadcast the sirens. The moment they go off, everyone passionately engaged in the business of the day immediately stops, and stands at attention.
The awe of the moment commands a complete halt. From the CEO to the day shift cleaner, not a person moves. Not a soul speaks. Then it hits. It won't happen here. In Israel, there will never be a mass murder. We won't let it happen. G-d won't let it happen.
It could happen in Europe. If forced to decide whether to fight the 45 million Muslims living in their continent, or to let the fanatical Muslims feed on the Jews, can we really count on the Europeans to put their heads in the Guillotine for us?
What about America? Joe Biden, while he was Vice President, warned a Chabad leader that it could happen in the United States. When private conversations take place among the powerful behind closed doors, and people feel they can lower their guard and say whatever's on their mind, he is always in the room. He will never say what's exactly spoken, but he will warn others based on its content . . . and tone.
Donald Trump is a friend. What happens after his term is up? Will someone more radical than Barrack Obama be the 46th president, or the 47th?
They said it could never happen in Germany. But after Germany fell from being a superpower to a third rate, occupied nation -- their fury knew no bounds. All it took was someone who knew where to direct that anger.
It could easily happen again, anywhere.
Hashem has blessed us with the means to make sure this will never happen again. Hashem protects us with His supernatural miracles.
We have the ability to obliterate the earth before the earth obliterates us – not that anyone in this country wants to ever, G-d forbid, entertain this option. Israel is determined to endure. Our people, our economy, our army, our G-d -- will guarantee that anyone living inside these Sacred borders will never have to bear the fate of the past.
We in Israel inherit the merit of martyrs, who pray for us in the highest levels of Heaven. Never again? Only if you're here!
Every job here is holy.
A cleaning lady is not merely cleaning an apartment; she is beautifying the mitzvah of Shabbat. A soldier is not just patrolling a town; he is enabling Jews to serve Hashem without distraction.
A falafel salesman is not just plying his trade; he is giving every Jew the opportunity to say Grace After Meals. If you have a livelihood in Israel, the chances are likely you are bringing Holiness from Hashem to mankind!