Honorable Mensch-ion

Israeli in Spirit

If you asked someone living in Israel two generation ago, “Where are you from,” very few would say “I’m from Israel.”
They would tell you, “I’m from Poland, Russia, Morocco, Iran, Spain, or France.” We are blessed that today the demography is different. Not only do we have several generations of sabras, but Israelis are dispersed throughout the world.

Rick Richman, in his book, “Racing Against History,” tells the fascinating story of three leaders of Israel, Chaim Weizmann, Vladimir Jabotinsky, and David Ben Gurion.

None of these men were born in Israel. But as Diaspora Jews, these Zionists comprehended the importance of a Jewish State from afar.

Weizmann, the first president of Israel, was born in Belarus. Jabotinsky was born in Odessa and Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, was born in Plonsk, Poland. These three visionaries canvassed America during the years of the Holocaust, begging for the creation of a Jewish army. They were met with smiles, but little help in achieving their goals.

This Shabbat lies between Yom Hashoah, a day where we commemorate victims of the Holocaust, and Yom Hazikaron, a day where we commemorate soldiers of a Jewish state. I asked my daughter what she knew about Israel. She told me, “Israel is protected by the Jewish people.” I was proud to also answer her, “Israel is a place that protects the Jews.” Those leaders would have been very proud.

Am Yisrael Chai.

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