A two-part essay for The Peoplehood Papers, volume 22 – “Israel@70: A Peoplehood Perspective”
I generally use the Jewish holidays to share ideas and insights on Judaism and philanthropy. But this holiday of Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s independence day, feels different for me, because my older son is celebrating it there, in a trip to Israel with his school. I never cease to feel gratitude for the undeserved privilege we have of being the first generation in 2,000 years to live with a Jewish sovereign state. I feel also the responsibility that this entails. As my son travels there, I wanted to share with you my words to him.
My dear son,
You are going to Israel for the first time. Well, it’s not really the first time; you were there with me as a baby, but that was before your toddler memory hit the reset button. So, this is the first time you’ll remember and I wanted to write to you to tell you what this means to me, and to our entire family. Why I’m so moved by this trip of yours, and why grandma’s voice breaks when she talks to you about it.Read more
I was working on a message that would express my feelings in relation to Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day. Something that would say that, despite everything, because of everything, Israel is one of the major triumphs of Jewish spirit and human will. And then I came across a poem that my landsman, Jorge Luis Borges—who was not Jewish—had written about Israel in 1969.Read more