‘A letter to the nation’

Our goodness, and our will to fight for it, overcomes our fears, and instead fills us with pride.

IDF tanks and a flag on the Gaza border 370 (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
IDF tanks and a flag on the Gaza border 370
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Once again our country Israel goes to war. The news media has an nonstop coverage to the South, and now, even to Tel Aviv. The radio wraps you up in the drama of it all, they don’t attempt to lighten the mood. Rockets fly at us, while our army pounds Gaza, right next door. And Jews have been killed. Mira Scharf was killed by a rocket while in Israel to attend the memorial of Rivka Holzberg, who was killed by terrorists in Mubmia four years ago. Mira had a baby in her belly.
Indeed, there are a lot of intense emotions in the county right now: on the one hand there is the ever present thought of our fellow soldiers and civilians under fire, and the fear for their, and our, lives. And on the other hand there is the need to fight, to push back the threat, to repel the war machine that has surfaced against us, right next door.
So many of us Israelis are tired of allowing our people to be terrorized, and that is what motivates us to overcome the fear of the here and now, the fear of the loss of our lives today in the hopes of a better tomorrow. We are a nation that takes proclamations and efforts to kill us seriously. And we are tired of the fear.
We have come a long way to have our country, and we are not about to give it up.
We know it is time to destroy threats that we live with daily. And this is a message to Iran.
To Egypt. To Syria. Even to Saudi Arabia. We will survive and we will not be pushed around.
RIGHT NOW, as a nation, we must set personal issues aside. Personal pains and challenges must give way to the national issues.
The focus needs to be on helping the other and coming together. My wife Malkah signed us up to receive guests for Shabbat from the South, people fleeing from the war zone. I really hope they don’t need it, but if they do, I hope they come to me, so that I can feel that I am helping. We all want to help. Many are saying Psalms on the buses and trains and others pray in any way they know how.
There are tanks, and helicopters, and rockets and guns out there, and they are very real.
But this is a spiritual war. Its about what this world wants to be. Does this world want to be cowed into submission, or does it want light to finally penetrate the gloom and dread of terror.
This is a fight for the victory of justice over lies – Israel is a just cause and a force for good in this world. The enemy are those who want stamp out our nation, our country, and the goodness we stand for. But our goodness is willing to fight evil, willing to stand up to it.
Our goodness, and our will to fight for it, overcomes our fears, and instead fills us with pride. We should be proud of this war, because we should be proud to merit to combat evil instead of being a victim to it.
It is the month of Hanukka, the time in which we remember the unlikely rebellion of one Jewish family against a whole civilization that wanted to eradicate the Jewish way. The courage of the Maccabees gives us light to this very day in the form of the Hanukkia (eight-candled menorah) and it reminds us of the miracles: The miracle that the light of Israel could not be stamped out, and the miracle (As Rabbi Chaim Richman told me) that there were a group of Jews who stood up and were willing to fight for that light.
God Bless the soldiers of Israel.
The writer is an Israeli English-language talk show host on Galey Yisrael (106.5 FM)