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Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

More than a shelter, it's a home

Nadav Shragai's written about what Israel's all about:
In the crawlspace of our national consciousness there lies, almost forgotten, a remark by Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl.

"Zionism is a return to Jewishness even before it is a return to the land of the Jews," he said.

But the opposite is how history wound up shaping reality: First we came back to our land, and built a state and a defense force. We are up to our ears in existential threats and in defending our lives. Building the internal identity of the State of Israel – of which the "Jewishness" Herzl spoke of is an integral part – was sidelined. We often become confused about the Jewish basis that is the foundation and the essence of the state, and its defense, which is only a tool.
You can read the rest, written specially for Israel's 70th independence day. Haim Shine's also given his take:
The proximity between Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism and the celebrations of Independence Day reminds us all that freedom is not handed out for free, but rather bought by blood, fire and pillars of smoke. Avraham "Yair" Stern, who founded the pre-state Lehi paramilitary organization and was killed by the British in 1942, wrote in a poem: "I know a day or night will come when I will fall alone, dying on the battlefield … but the death on the battlefield will be sweetened … when my eyes see the torches of victory."

In the moving commemoration ceremony on Mount Herzl, small flames ignite the bright torches. This passage embodies Jewish history over thousands of years: from enslavement to redemption, from our homeland to dispersion in the Diaspora, from desolation to rebirth.
Read the rest of that too.

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