Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Beauty of Israel

Americans Stand with Israel
by Bee Sting
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Sea Of Galilee
The beautiful gardens of the Bahai religion, Haifa. How many of you have already visited there?
Photo by: Noam Chen - Photographer
Beautiful Eilat
Amazing picture of Masada...
beautiful Eilat in southern Israel.. 
Caesarea, Israel.
The IDF 
Note: All photos from Hatikvah

AISH posted the top five entries, in honor of the 56th anniversary of the State of Israel.  The Essay Contest was: "What Israel Means to Me".  I will share my favorite of the five chosen:
What Israel Means to Me   by Chaya B. Halle
Israel. Its magnetic pull tugs at the Jew's soul in an inexplicable appeal. From all corners of the world, Jews come, like migrant birds returning to the place of their birth, guided only by some God-given internal instinct. An instinct to see, to touch, to live the place that bridges past, present and future in a mysterious, unbreakable chain.
What is it here that cries to the soul, so loudly and strongly that its echo remains even far beyond Israel's boundaries? We no longer have the pride of our nation, the Holy Temple. We are left with but remains of a glorious past, in truth, reminders that we are a nation that has fallen from the greatest heights. We do have pain here. Pain that has been given so many terms and analyses as if to dismiss the suffering as a mere political shuffle. But obstinate labels and expressions cannot change the reality of terror.
So why do we come? A dazzling selection of Jews from across the spectrum of culture and religious affiliation form the great rubik's cube which is the Jews of Israel. From the chassid to the Ethiopian, from those deeply involved in Torah study and those who barely know what Torah is, they all come. They come, they love, and they stay. From whence comes the yearning that settles in the soul and does not let a Jew forget Israel?
I ponder the question, standing on my rooftop that overlooks the winding roads of Jerusalem. There is something here, something that cannot be heard or touched, but is somehow absorbed. It seeps in through the pores of the skin and spreads throughout the body. For thousands of generations Jews have known that our destiny lies in the Holy Land. Israel's pull is one toward the future. It's a hope in the air that great things lie ahead for the Jewish nation, and it's going to happen here. I can picture in my mind's eye these very streets, thronging with Jews singing and dancing, rejoicing in the redemption of our nation.
Jerusalem is waiting longingly for her glory to return. God, we're here and we're waiting.
 I have never had the opportunity to visit Israel, to touch the Wall and pray at the Kotel, or visit one of the many beautiful areas in Israel.  I see Israel through the eyes of my Israeli friends, whom I have grown to love and respect over the years.  To me, Israel means the people; their courage and love for life; the ever present music and many songs sung, often with the voices of angels; their humor, even on days when rockets are landing from nearby Gaza; the constant contributions to the world through their scientists and technology; the beauty of such an assortment of flowers growing, where once the land was dry and barren; the charity Israel gives to the world, in such places as Haiti, after its major earthquake; medical treatment to South Africans; and a list that is endless and one that is rarely reported by the Media.  
The Jews are survivors, no matter where they live in the world, whether in the diaspora or in Israel, because the murder of Six Million Jews has touched the lives of every Jewish family living today.  And for the few who have not been touched by the Holocaust, they have known and experienced the anti-semitism and hatred that has chased Jews from their homes and countries, so much so, that there are countries today that cannot claim one Jewish family living within its borders.  Which brings me to the most important reason for honoring Israel - it is the one land in the entire world that is for the Jews; the land all Jews call "home"; the Holy Land, for survivors and those who wish to survive within its borders - fragile borders surrounded by nations who wish nothing more than to kill every living Jew on earth, and yet the one tiny country in the Middle East where lives peace, blessed peace.
The UN meets this week in New York City; speeches will be given, world leaders will meet, and once again, Israel will be on the tips of everyone's tongues, as they accuse Israel for all the problems in the Middle East. As disturbing as it is for me to hear such propaganda and lies, what they say does not cause me a sleepless night.  Why?  Because Israel lives, accepting new challenges daily, while blessing oftentimes a very undeserving world. That is what Israel means to me - a thriving, "Light" among nations that continues to live among a sea of darkness.  The "Land" I love and a peoples who inspire me, always.
Long life, dear Israel!  "Next year in Jerusalem".  
Just Beautiful music that lets you feel the beauty of the world that G-d created for us.

Avi ben Israel - Modeh Ani [I thank You]

In this song he thanks G-D for all that G-D gave him and asks G-D to never leave him.