Am Yisrael Chai – What Israel means to me

Israel Flag Am Yisrael Chai

I never write about politics because I’m just not a very political person. It’s funny because my entire family is quite political except me. I don’t really care about the different parties or their platforms or who walked across the line and then crossed back. That doesn’t really interest me. My family could sit for hours at a time having conversations about all things political. Not me. But, I have to speak up about Israel. I stand with Israel because of what it means to me and I’m horrified about what is currently going on there.

First of all, let me say that I do not condone any killing of either Israelis or Palestinians. I don’t believe in an eye for an eye BUT I believe that Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. I also don’t think you can compare the numbers of the dead on each side because each side chooses to protect its people in a different way. And with that I’m going to stop. That’s as political as I’m going to get.

My connection to Israel is deeper than just being Jewish. After the Holocaust my grandparents and their siblings went to Israel. They sought refuge after being tortured in concentration camps. They saw a future in a barren country that was calling for them to make their home. My grandfather and his brothers fought for the right for Israel to exist. They joined the army. They were proud to be a part of something greater than themselves. After fighting to live and see another day, they fought for Israel to be born. They helped build Israel with their bare hands. My mother was also born in Israel. So on her side of the family, my sister and I are first generation born Canadians.  The magnitude of my deep connection to Israel didn’t hit me until I got off the plane the very first time I went to Israel at Ben Gurion Airport. When my feet touched the ground, my heart was immediately touched with this country. My grandfather and his brothers helped build this country! Isn’t that amazing? As I drove on the many roads I often wondered if they too had been on those roads many years earlier. What a beautiful country. So small yet so powerful.

I know my grandparents are devastated about the situation in Israel. Thankfully, they are here, in Canada, safe. But we have family members and dear friends who are in Israel and they are worried sick about their well-being. How could they not? My grandparents endured sirens, hiding in bunkers, feeling unsafe and insecure all the time during the Holocaust.They sadly, can relate to the fear that many people are currently experiencing in Israel.

To me, Israel just isn’t a homeland for Jewish people, it’s the continuation of my maternal side of my family tree. If Israel didn’t exist, then my grandparents may not have met which means I may not exist today. For me, protecting this country is protecting my families heritage.

Am Yisrael Chai – The people of Israel live

Comments

  1. Loren Lieberman says:

    Beautiful post. I have a strong connection and family in Israel too. I also stand with Israel.

  2. JewishinTN says:

    I join you in your sentiments! I was actually born in Jerusalem, so I thank your grandparents for helping to build my country. I live safe and sound in the USA, but I have friends and family there and I worry for them. I would love for there to be peace, but not at the expense of Jewish life.

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