“….an island of stability in a sea of uncertainty….”

9 Sep
peres

Israeli President Shimon Peres

Five thousand seven hundred and seventy-four.  That is how long the Jewish people have endured.  Endured multiple ages of persecution and hardship as well as celebrated periods of triumph and industry.  With this New Year’s arrival a new question arises: what will this year contain for Israel?  Will Israel prove once again to the world its technological potential by making another breakthrough? And will there peace in Israel?

The fact is, no one can be certain.  Israel is located in a region of the world that has gained even more international attention due to the recent events in Egypt and Syria, two countries that combined share a border of 212.5 miles with Israel.  Egypt, a country that has a peace treaty with Israel, is now a place of concern as a recent military takeover threatens the very treaty that gave Israel the closest thing it had to an ally in the region.  Syria, a country where Basher Assad allegedly used chemical weapons on his own people and in the midst of a conflict that has produced 2 million refugees, is now at the moment one of the greatest threats to Israel. 

I have always been told to stand with Israel, especially during times like these, but I never understood the reason, until now.  This past summer I visited Israel for three weeks and experienced Israel first hand.  I began to understand the unique culture and people of Israel and realized it wasn’t as foreign as I once believed.  Even though I only spent three weeks there I finally understood why it is vital that I stand with Israel.  It is a place Jewish people will always be able to call home.  In times of turmoil such as these we must not forget to stand with Israel and support the actions of the government to ensure that stability is found.

The Israeli President Shimon Peres stated that with the beginning of this New Year “Israel remains an island of stability in a sea of uncertainty.” We cannot foresee what may happen in or around Israel this year, but we must continue to have hope for the State of Israel.  Hope that it continues to have scientific breakthroughs, hope that it continues to experience economic growth and development, and hope that it continues to be the beacon of hope in an otherwise unstable region.

Rabbi Hillel said, “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?” As year 5774 begins we must remember the wise words of Rabbi Hillel and continue to be reminded of its pertinence to the modern age, because if we are not for Israel, then who will be for Israel?

Sources:

http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2013/Pages/President-Peres-greetings-for-the-New-Year-3-September-2013.aspx (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Grant C. is the Israel Advocacy Intern at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

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