On our now nightly walk in the neighborhood, our children can be found on scavenger hunts- how many pets they see, how many insects they discover, and how many birds are in the sky.
Last night was different, as I found them singing loudly and freely on the sidewalk. “Ani natati eitz, ani baniti bayit, beretz yisrael.” “I planted a tree, I built a house, in the land of Israel.” They learned the song this week in their Judaic studies Zoom class at Sinai Akiba Academy. As I watched them blare at the top of their lungs, the words rung true.
We find ourselves at the Shabbat between Yom HaShoah and Yom Ha’atzmaut, between the darkest days in the history of our people and the most joyous occasion of having our own state. On Yom HaShoah we recite Maimonides’ teaching, “I believe in the coming of the Mashiach, even though he will tarry.” Could my ancestors just three generations ago have imagined my children proclaiming through the streets of Los Angeles, “I have planted in the land of Israel?” My children have not yet visited the land of Israel, but that song was an “aha” moment. On Yom Ha’aztmaut we sing the famous words of Herzl, “Im tirzu ain zo aggada.” If you will it, it is no dream. If my kids only knew the simple words they uttered are the reality of a dream realized. One day soon, they will know…they will know.