Op-Ed: A Message for Yom Haatzmaut
Message from 'Ketsale' (Yaakov Katz) for Yom Yaatzmaut
Although the Jewish people seem divided and dispersed, in Israel that is not really the case.
"Who compares to Your people, Israel, a unique nation in the land" said our Sages.
The ideas and issues that unite us are more numerous than the ones that divide and separate us.
That is why our Yom Haatzmaut message calls on all of us to
Add to, increase and heighten –
- Love between ourselves and our brothers, hareidi as well as secular.
- Our birthrate, so that we increase in quantity. "When there are multitudes of people, the King's glory is greater", and the quantity adorns the quality. In these times, when the world's population, Muslim and Christian, is decreasing, we must increase and try to make up numerically for that which we lost in the tragic destruction of European Jewry 70 years ago.
- The study of Torah - "All who are thirsty, approach the 'water'" and "there is no water except for Torah".
Add to, increase and heighten:
- Construction all over Eretz Yisrael and especially in the places our enemies wish to steal from us: Judea and Samaria, the Golan, Galilee and the Negev.
- Education towards more Torah values and tradition, ethics and good deeds.
- Efforts to try to bring our brothers to Israel, those in the land of wealth and happiness and those in lands where they are persecuted, from wherever they are dispersed. "It is clear that the Redemption depends upon most of our holy people in the Holy Land…and as the number of those returning grow, so too will heavenly blessings increase and bring the Redemption " (Rav Kook, Mishpat Kohen, p.129.
- Army service, defending and protecting the holy, the secular and all the wonderful things in our land.
- A positive outlook, pleasant speech, being a good listener and promoting sincere and loyal friendship – "The day will come when he who is good will receive good things from that which is meant for the good" (Talmud Menachot 53: )
And above all, add to, increase and heighten blessings of gratitude to the Almighty, Blessed be He, for that we have merited all the wondrous things He has done for us and continues to bestow upon us.
Happy Yom Haatzmaut!