A dream in our hand
A dream in our handshutterstock

“The road now leads onward

As far as can be

Winding lanes

And hedgerows in threes

By purple mountains

Round every bend
All roads lead to you

There is no journey’s end

Here is my heart and I give it to you

Take me with you across this land

These are my dreams, so simple and few

Dreams we hold in the palm of our hands”

(Never-Ending Road (Amhran Duit) by Loreena McKennitt)

It is that time of year. Just after Purim. A special holiday in Israel. Whereas in the rest of the world Purim is celebrated for only one day, in Israel it is a four-day festival. The joy of the children in costume, the happiness of a celebration of a holiday which is minor in importance, but major in merriment.

And yet this year in Israel the atmosphere was different, as chaos and anger threaten to tear the country apart.

Perhaps this year, (venahafoch hu), we should take off our mask, remove our pretense of being merely a nation among other nations.

Perhaps this year, rather than looking at masked faces we might have looked within. Have we forgotten who we are? Where we are? Where we came from?

“And Haman said to King Ahasuerus, ‘There is a certain people scattered and separate among the peoples throughout all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws differ from (those of) every people, and they do not keep the king’s laws; it is (therefore) of no use for the king to let them be. If it pleases the king, let it be written to destroy them…’ ” (Megillat Esther 3:8)

Have we so quickly forgotten the lessons of our all-too-recent past?

Do we have the luxury of making a mockery of ourselves in the eyes of the world? The luxury of airing our internal disputes to a sometimes hostile world-wide public? And will we merely watch as the Holy Ground beneath our feet is set afire by our own hands?

“…. how can I see the evil that will befall my people, and how can I see the destruction of my kindred?” (Megillat Esther 8:6)

We are on a journey, together. Each of us individually blessed to be a vital part of our nation.

We are living in a time of wonder. We see the fulfillment of an ancient promise of redemption, as the dream of generations that came before us is coming to fruition.

We are truly blessed to walk together again as One people in this Holy Land. Where the enchantment of the past comes to life before our very eyes. Where the very earth we stand upon is sacred. The air we breathe touched by angels’ wings as it drifts downs towards us, scented by Heaven’s perfume.

We are holding a dream in the palm of our hand.

Will we turn that hand into a fist, allow the dream to be smothered? Or will we hold it gently but firmly, in wonderment at the strength of its fragility, at the multitude of colors which are now coming to life. The rebirth of enchantment.

We are on this journey of Life, together. Blessed both as individuals and as a nation by the love which exists between us and God.

“A writ that is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s ring cannot be rescinded.” Megillat Esther 8:8)

May we as a nation be worthy of a Heavenly Seal of Approval for how we are conducting ourselves in this God-given Holy Land.

May be be blessed with peace. Peace within us and peace amongst us.

Dr. Devorah Ungar is an American-born scientist and musician.who moved to Israel 30 years ago.