Okay, so Pessah is near, and we’re all going to celebrate and commemorate our freedom from the Egyptians, something that we have done for millennia.. And it is something to celebrate and commemorate.. With great wonders did HaShem lead us out of Egypt, to let us be His People, free from slavery under the Egyptian rule.. From now on, we would be His People and He would be our king.. At least, that was the plan..
As we’re all aware of, it hasn’t quite been that way down the road.. Sure, we’ve been stubbornly clinging to our religion, refusing whoever came with new religions for us, and stayed “different” always.. And that has had it cost for us.. And 2,000 years ago it all broke down big time.. The Roman razed the Temple, and brought a huge number of Jewish slaves to Rome, only to witness the Jewish stubbornness once again some 60 years later, when we again rebelled and just couldn’t accept to live under foreign rule.. And once again we had to accept, that it wasn’t quite our time.. And so it was for close to 2,000 years until 1948, where the new Jewish state of Israel, could declare her independence, though it has taken some fighting with her neighbors during the years.. And probably will be in the near future..
But there she is: Israel, Medinat Yisrael, standing proud and strong, refusing to accept foreign sovereignty over the Jewish People, who’re encouraged to return to the Holy Land, to make our dreams become real.. And yes, Israel was a dream coming real.. But, apparently, for many Jews also a dream that has become a broken dream..
Hertzl once said: “If you want it, it’s no dream”, and Israel was the proof to that.. But Israel hasn’t quite been the dream becoming real, if you ask those many Jews that leave Israel.. Israel isn’t Gan Eden, and you experience a lot of hostile feelings and attitudes among people, even among Jews form various cultural backgrounds.. And it is true, that Israel isn’t the easiest place to live.. If you don’t believe me, then ask those numerous people, who’re warning me about how it is to live in Israel, when they here that I plan to move there.. Or ask the numerous Israeli, that move to other countries to make their lives there, to make their dreams come true..
Moshe Rabeenu (A”S) had the same experience, when he led the People our of Egypt.. Finally he had, with the help of HaShem, bested Pharaoh, and was now leading the Jews into Sinay, on the way to the Promised Land, but then things started to go wrong.. The Jews began to complain, loose faith and despair.. The tales about it are many.. The Golden Calf, the lack of food – first in general, then meat in particular (and here it could seem that HaShem was about getting enough of the Jews, really trying to silence their complaints by drowning them in meat), yes, even Miriam – the sister of Moshe Rabeenu (A”S), tried to be a problem.. But even Moshe Rabeenu (A”S) could be full of despair and frustration, he never gave up on Israel.. Even when HaShem told him, that He would destroy the People and make a new people from him, he didn’t accept it, he stayed faithful, both to the promises that HaShem has given us, and to the People as a whole.. Even though there were frustrations, and some people could cause problems, he understood that there was something much more than that.. I don’t know what he was thinking or how he motivated himself, but I can imagine, that walking around in the camp, passing the small families, with children playing, being the future of the People, that that could have an impact of him.. That maybe things aren’t looking good right now, and maybe the people that we’re expecting to be responsible and behave descent, aren’t doing exactly that.. But the children is something else.. Maybe he thought about the great wonders HaShem made for us, when He let us out of Egypt, and thought that if HaShem can change that dark hour to a much brighter one, then the difficulties we’re facing now, aren’t really that much of a challenge? That if only we stay faithful to HaShem and stick together, then we will succeed..
And maybe this is the answer to Israel and the Jewish People today.. We survived yet another dark hour, and things did become much brighter, even though we had to fight our wars for it, just as we did in the desert against ‘Amaleq, the Midianites and other hostile people.. But even the most wicked among the non-Jewish prophets saw what would happen, that no matter how much the nations try to submit and fight the Jewish Nation, they will never succeed.. But we have to stick together, even when we really bother each other..
And back to Israel, the state.. All you people, brothers and sisters, whether you’re religious or not, whether you’re on the far left, the far right or just somewhere in the middle.. I understand that you just can’t take it anymore.. Even I, who’re fanatic naive and romantic about Israel, can be frustrated with the country once in a while.. But if you move away, you will never see the dream we have together come true.. If you move away, Israel certainly won’t be what you dream about..
We left Egypt together, and we walked the desert together, we have experienced so much together, both good and bad.. Let’s not split up now, when we’re finally having the chance to be one People again, after so many years of hoping, dreaming and struggling to survive all over the world.. If you want Israel to be a better society, then stay and fight for it.. If you want Israel to be more tolerant, then stay and fight for it.. If you want Israel to be a better place to live, then stay and fight for it.. If not for you, then for the children.. If you want it, it’s no dream!
Hag Pessah Sameach to all of you.. I’m looking forward to celebrating our freedom once again