(Your brief Hebrew lesson for the week)
Tikva = Hope
Jews are a Nation, an Ethnicity and a Peoplehood who share a religion and practice it in varying degrees. Our Homeland, since biblical times, has always been Israel. We were expelled several times, just like other ethnicities were conquered throughout world history. On November 29, 1947, the United Nations approved Resolution 181 that established a plan to partition the land between Jews and the local Arabs. Jews, all over the world, rejoiced and the modern State of Israel officially declared independence on May 14, 1948. During that time, Jews were expelled from their Arab host countries and 850,000 moved to Israel. This video gives a factural view of Jewish refugees compared to Palistian refugees of today:
Our spirit and hopes for a bright future were optimistic, but sadly 68 years later, our prospects for Peace are dismal. From day 1 of our modern existence, anti-zionists and anti-semites have waged a local and global attack on our right to live in our legal country. We have endured wars, terrorism,
BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) and lying propaganda (from blood libel to Michigan Radio bias
* to British Labour Party
** hatred) yet we continue to strive for Peace and help make the world a better place through activism, volunteerism and innovation. We are not perfect, but nobody is. Will those who despise us as a peoplehood ever accept our existence as a nation? There is always tikva.
Zechor = Remember
May 11th is Yom HaZikaron when Israel remembers the fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the well-being of their country. Also memorialized are the innocent souls who were taken from their family and friends through terrorist attacks. And yesterday was Yom HaShoah (May 5th) which honors Holocaust victims. Never Again! Sirens are blared on both Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron as Israelis respect a two minute silence no matter where they are. On the roads, cars pull over and drivers get out and all over the country people stop what they are doing and stand at attention. Here is the English translation of the famous poem read at memorial ceremonies.
The Silver Platter
The earth grows still.
The lurid sky slowly pales over smoking borders.
Heartsick but still living, a people stand by
To great the uniqueness
Of the miracle. Readied, they wait beneath the moon,
Wrapped in awesome joy before the light. - Then soon,
A girl and boy step forward,
And slowly walk before the waiting nation;
In work clothes and heavy-shod
Wearing still the dress of battle, the grime
Of aching day and fired night
Unwashed, weary until death, not knowing rest,
But wearing youth like dewdrops in their hair.
- Silently the two approach
Are they of the quick or of the dead?
Through wondering tears, the people stare.
"Who are you, the silent two?"
And they reply: "We are the silver platter
Upon which the Jewish State was served to you."
And speaking, fall in shadow at the nation's feet.
Let the rest in Israel's chronicles be told.
Chagiga = Celebration
Our sorrow segues into celebration as Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence day) transitions at sunset (after Memorial Day) from sadness to joy.
As Israel celebrates her modern day establishment, the Arabs in the region have a different name for that day. They call is Nakba Day which means Catastrophe and they commemorate it with rallies, demonstrations and sometime deadly clashes. For the first 50 year's Yom HaZtzmaut was alone in its commemoration of Israel's establishment, but during her 50th anniversary, Yasser Arafat decided to institute Nakba Day for the media to pick up on their pity which of course is all Israel's fault. It takes "Two to Tango" and for 68 years Israel has been alone on the dance floor. For those who constantly fight our existence and those who think Obama isn't supportive enough of Israel, thank goodness for the US Congress and the White House who will provide Israel with the largest military aid in US history.
Ezrah = Help
Aid is also needed in neighboring country, Syria, as the devastating civil war has created chaos throughout the land. Last week an attack demolished a hospital killing 50 people, including the last known pediatrician in the country.
Ke'ev = Pain
US hospitals could be to blame for our excessive use of painkillers in this country. Opioid is the current buzz word and usage is on the rise. These painkillers, in their legal form, are called OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin, while the illegal street form is called Heroin. Whichever form you talk about, it is killing not only pain, but a rising number of people in this country. US citizens consumes 80% of all Opioid usage worldwide while we are only 5% of the global population. The drug works wonders if you are in pain, but can be highly addictive and are meant as a short term treatment. 40% of all accidental drug overdoses are due to Opioids. This is a serious situation that requires innovative solutions.
Bet Sefer = School
Another serious situation is the DPS (Detroit Public Schools). Their buildings are deteriorating, some school principals chose to line their pockets instead of the school shelves and teachers are rightly concerned there isn't enough money to pay their salaries. In the meantime our Lansing legislators are debating and arguing over how to rightsize the sinking DPS financial situation as our Detroit students continue to get the short end of the educational stick.
Peel = Elephant
No more sticks and podding for Circus elephants as they took their last spin around the rink this week. The last remaining 3 pachyderm will pack their trunks and snowbird it down to Florida to a conservation center where they will join more than two dozen other friends to live out their lives in retirement. They will be aiding to human knowledge as part of a cancer research project. It seems Elephants rarely get cancer so their blood will be tested to hopefully develop a synthetic version of a tumor suppressing gene.
Tevah = Ark
I don't think elephants will be passengers on the modern Noah's Ark that was recently built by Dutch carpenter,
Johan Huibers, after dreaming that the Netherlands will be flooded. The current intent (since the Netherlands are still above sea level) is to sail down to Brazil for this Summer's Olympics.
The Ark cost $4 million and 4 years to build and will take $1.5 million to barge it across the ocean. They are trying to raise the funds needed for the journey but time is of the essence so good luck to the project.
Imma = Mother
40 countries around the world celebrate the admiration of Mothers, which we will be doing this Sunday. Cheers to famous mums (and mum figures)... Mother Teresa, Mother Goose, Rose Kennedy, Indira Gandhi, Clara Barton, Rosa Parks, Grandma Moses, Carol Brady and (of course) Marge Simpson. Happy Mother's Day to the Mothers/Mommies/Moms/Immas in all our lives. This quote says it all...
"There's no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." -Jill Churchill