Keep Dreaming: This is our life

Israeli society is a work in progress. What we’ll end up with depends in no small measure on how we read what’s going on around us – and how we respond.

By
November 11, 2011 16:29
3 minute read.
Children with Israeli flags

Israeli flags 521. (photo credit: Illustrative photo: Reuters)

This is our life here in Israel.
It’s possible
to imagine the kind of society we’d really like to have.
The truth, however, is that we have no alternative but
to continue languishing in stale molds of thinking.
It’s so difficult to break habits and far more comfortable
to go on caring only about ourselves.
It’s impossible
to think that we might live happily and with a sense of meaning.
Instead we are raising our children
to be apathetic and without purpose.
We no longer want
ideals like mutual responsibility and concern for the downtrodden
and instead we reward
hypocrisy, power and pride.
We no longer accept 
the essence of our anthem is something to live by.
Hope
doesn’t reside here anymore.
Cynicism
is the only way to survive.
In the world we’ve created, valuing our interdependence
has been rebuffed.
The culture of ego, contempt and self-righteousness
engulfs us.
The spirit of compassion and caring for the stranger in our midst
belongs to the past.
Acceptance of prejudice and gender discrimination
has become commonplace.
Dedication to the common good
is a value no longer in vogue.
Materialism,
that is all that interests us.
The pursuit of peace
has been discredited and
the domination of deceit, avarice and exploitation
characterizes our society.
Social justice
has been rejected and
religion as a source of intolerance and coercion
has become the norm.
“Love your neighbor as yourself,”
that’s the biggest cliché there is.
There’s no possibility of changing anything anymore.
It’s ludicrous to maintain that
there are those who still believe
the ideals of Zionism aren’t lost forever,
that we can make things right.
Keep dreaming.
We are not what we once hoped to become.
It is time to move on and turn the page.

**

It is time to move on and turn the page.
We are not what we once hoped to become.
Keep dreaming
that we can make things right.
The ideals of Zionism aren’t lost forever.
There are those who still believe.
It’s ludicrous to maintain that
there’s no possibility of changing anything anymore.
That’s the biggest cliché there is.
“Love your neighbor as yourself”
has become the norm.
Religion as a source of intolerance and coercion
has been rejected and
social justice
characterizes our society.
The domination of deceit, avarice and exploitation
has been discredited and
the pursuit of peace,
that is all that interests us.

Materialism
is a value no longer in vogue.
Dedication to the common good
has become commonplace.
Acceptance of prejudice and gender discrimination
belongs to the past.
The spirit of compassion and caring for the stranger in our midst
engulfs us.
The culture of ego, contempt and self-righteousness
has been rebuffed.
In the world we’ve created, valuing our interdependence
is the only way to survive.
Cynicism
doesn’t reside here anymore.
Hope,
the essence of our anthem is something to live by.
We no longer accept 
hypocrisy, power and pride
and instead we reward
ideals like mutual responsibility and concern for the downtrodden.
We no longer want
to be apathetic and without purpose.
Instead we are raising our children
to think that we might live happily and with a sense of meaning.
It’s impossible
to go on caring only about ourselves.
It’s so difficult to break habits and far more comfortable
to continue languishing in stale molds of thinking.
The truth, however, is that we have no alternative but
to imagine the kind of society we’d really like to have.
It’s possible.
This is our life here in Israel.


The writer is vice chairman of the World Zionist Organization and a member of the executive of The Jewish Agency. This column was inspired by and adapted from a video clip produced by The Arvut Social Movement www.arvut.org/he/


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