Thursday, May 12, 2005

Change of Heart

I blogged earlier about how I didnt agree with the siren, firstly from a religious viewpoint, secondly i just didnt "get" it. A lot has happened since then. Firstly, from the religious standpoint, Oleh Yashan made an excellent point, comparing it to a shofar. (see comment to earlier post, "Schlumberger")
About "getting it", I went with my wife to har herzl Yom HaZikkaron morning for the siren and the tekes. I really only went to appease her and show her I'm still Zionist even if I dont like the siren. We were standing along the graves when the siren went off. I started looking around not sure what to think about. I looked at the people standing around the graves. Most of them were my age or younger. Every grave there held the body of someone who was my age. They went to the army, just like me, but they didnt come out. Some of them were killed at the same bases that I had been on. The crowd of people was a mixture of religious and not, definitely a mixture of political feelings going on. But we all stood together, united in our loss. Brought together in our pain. I was amazed at how almost everyone in this country who is my age, has lost a friend. I knew this before, but I never took time to reflect on it. Standing there, beside our fallen heroes, listening ot the siren, forced me to reflect on this. Later, when I was back on har herzl for the bringing in of yom haatzmaut, I realized, we cant appreciate what we have without reflecting first on the cost. I remember in high school one year, I hung up an Israeli flag on yom haatzmaut. It was taken down and I was told "we" dont put up flags. In all honesty, I only hung it up to see what would happen, and I told everyone the story then so they would hate my school like I did. But now, I agree with him. the "we" I was a part of then was Americans who never thought of living here, who came to Israel for a year and left. "we" would never risk our lives for Israel, would never dream of donating any time to this country, and so "we" didnt deserve to hang the flag. Only those who can see, who can feel, the cost, can appreciate what we have. To appreciate, one needs time to reflect, which is what the siren is all about.

2 Comments:

Blogger menachem said...

you've got to work on your "jewish bloggers" code... it's spliced with the entire sidebar in the middle

5:05 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

It's great that you had an open mind and can actually see the validity in the siren. If only other people could be as open minded. Taking a moment to reflect is something that all of us so rarely do. Also, you are so right about the "WE" part of your blog. It's true that we need people that don't live here to care, give money, and raise support and awareness for the country. However, people who say that it's too hard to live here or that it's a great place to visit but not to live have no right to hang that Israeli flag up. Those that give a couple of bucks and think that they've done their part for the Homeland haven't reflected and understood what Israel means and what it's supposed to mean to every Jew. Reflection is a wonderfully pure moment when we have it. You've obviously used it very wisely. Those that are part of the "we", that don't get what the flag represents, will never understand until they open their eyes. One day, they all will.

6:16 PM  

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