How does someone feel at the age of 69?
I do not know and will not know for 27 more years.
How does the body feel at 69? How does the soul feel?
How does the State of Israel feel as we are about to celebrate 69 years?
Who is the State of Israel?
Yom Haatzmaut is celebrated not so long after Pesach, Chag HaCherut [Holiday of freedom].
Cherut [freedom] and Atzmaut [independence] do not only rhyme, they are similar and very much connected.
We, those slaves coming out of Egypt, now have a Jewish State. We are independent and we must strive for freedom of religion, freedom of practice, speech and mind. We, who live in Canada and Israel, and enjoy freedom on a daily basis, must remember, freedom is always connected with responsibility.
I feel the more we know about our Jewish tradition, the more power we have to make the changes we, as Reform Jews, feel are needed. Knowledge is power. We must know what was done before us, if we wish to make a change of it.
Israeli society needs Reform Judaism. Reform Judaism must make itself as Israeli as it can be so more and more Israelis can feel Jewish, can feel Judaism has what to offer to them, not as something we enter a building to practice, but rather something which is part of day to day life on the street, in school, at the community center, and in every aspect of life.
From ancient Egypt comes an axiom, "As above, so below". It suggests that the microcosm and the macrocosm are tightly intertwined. Not only is balance an issue for each individual, it is necessary for the entire world and of course in the Jewish State about to become almost 70.
This is what ARZA Canada and the IMPJ are offering Israeli society, a Judaism of freedom, fit for Israeli society which benefits us, Reform Jews in Canada too.
Happy Israeli Reform Independence to us all.