For those of us who take great joy in recognizing and celebrating Israeli Independence Day, the celebration was understandably interrupted and marred by the terrorist attack that occurred today in Boston. Today is the birthday of the modern Jewish State of Israel, and like any other type of birthday, there are different ways to honor and celebrate becoming one year older. One way to do this is to gain benefit from the lessons learned and subsequently taught from years of experience.
As a Jewish American, today was an emotional roller coaster unlike any I’ve experienced in quite some time. With all of us proud Zionists focusing our attention on the birthday of the Modern State of Israel, the terror attack in Boston held a tragically ironic significance.
I have been to Boston a number of times. It is a city I like very much. In fact, I was having dinner with friends a few days ago and part of what we spoke about was what a fun city it is and how great of a place it is to visit. I never wanted to associate Boston with the terror that took place today, but sadly because of the world we live in, from today on it will be part of what I think of when I do think of Boston. I never wanted to associate Israel with acts of terror either. I would have loved to grow up only celebrating the joy of a modern Jewish state and the knowledge that there is an entire government whose priority is my safety and freedom as a Jew. Unfortunately and sadly I have had to have the same association regarding Israel and terror attacks my entire life. But Israel has not only survived, it has endured, providing the bulk of its citizens with a homeland they love and enjoy. So today on Israel’s birthday, maybe the best way to celebrate its existence and growth is to have it guide and support an injured city in its time of need.
I have seen a number of people make note today that this is what Israel has gone through on a regular basis for a very long time. Each person who made a comment along these lines did so with respect and sensitivity for what people went through today in Boston. This is because the very core of Israel’s existence is a respect and appreciation for the value of human life and therefore true supporters of the Jewish state share that same value system, as do all decent people worldwide. With that said, the lessons of the State of Israel can be of great benefit, particularly today to the people of Boston, at a time when they need it the most.
Israel has suffered through some of the most horrific acts of terror imaginable. I remember one attack which took place in a Pizza place in Jerusalem that literally wiped out an entire family. If memory serves me, a husband, wife and their 5 children, the youngest being 8 months old were all killed by a terrorist’s bomb. There are so many stories similar to this one happening in different parts of Israel over the years, this is the one however that for me is symbolic of what Israel has had to endure on a regular basis for far too many years.
So how has Israel not only stayed strong but built a vibrant and growing nation? We all know of the military might it developed and maintained since its birth, deterring its enemies from wiping it off the map, but what is Israel’s greatest strength? Without question it is its undying spirit. Terrorists have been successful in their desire to murder Israelis, but they have never even come close in their desire to murder the State of Israel. This is because when you value human life so much that nothing is ever put before it, no cowardly despicable terrorist can ever take away your desire to live. When terrorists are unable to win that battle, despite the horror they cause, they have not won and will never win the war. Israel never has and never will let that enemy win. The collective body is damaged, but the soul is never crushed. As a Jew I can say that I feel that I have done so little for Israel, yet it has done so much for me. And today in celebration of Israel’s birthday, it does something for the town of Boston. It shows an injured city how to defeat the animals that violated its sanctity, by standing strong in spirit, in hope and in decency. There would be no greater way to honor today’s victims, comfort Boston, and to celebrate Israel becoming one year older.