Friday, January 30, 2009

I Am A Zionist

At a time where Zionism is defamed and slandered, this article sets out the truth. Shabbat Shalom.

From YNet, by Yair Lapid:

I am a Zionist.

I believe that the Jewish people established itself in the Land of Israel, albeit somewhat late. Had it listened to the alarm clock, there would have been no Holocaust, and my dead grandfather – the one I was named after – would have been able to dance a last waltz with grandma on the shores of the Yarkon River.

I am a Zionist.

Hebrew is the language I use to thank the Creator, and also to swear on the road. The Bible does not only contain my history, but also my geography. King Saul went to look for mules on what is today Highway 443, Jonah the Prophet boarded his ship not too far from what is today a Jaffa restaurant, and the balcony where David peeped on Bathsheba must have been bought by some oligarch by now.

I am a Zionist.

The first time I saw my son wearing an IDF uniform I burst into tears, I haven't missed the Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony for 20 years now, and my television was made in Korea, but I taught it to cheer for our national soccer team.

I am a Zionist.

I believe in our right for this land. The people who were persecuted for no reason throughout history have a right to a state of their own plus a free F-16 from the manufacturer. Every display of anti-Semitism from London to Mumbai hurts me, yet deep inside I'm thinking that Jews who choose to live abroad fail to understand something very basic about this world. The State of Israel was not established so that the anti-Semites will disappear, but rather, so we can tell them to get lost.

I am a Zionist.

I was fired at in Lebanon, a Katyusha rockets missed me by a few feet in Kiryat Shmona, missiles landed near my home during the first Gulf War, I was in Sderot when the Color Red anti-rocket alert system was activated, terrorists blew themselves up not too far from my parents' house, and my children stayed in a bomb shelter before they even knew how to pronounce their own name, clinging to a grandmother who arrived here from Poland to escape death. Yet nonetheless, I always felt fortunate to be living here, and I don't really feel good anywhere else.

I am a Zionist.

I think that anyone who lives here should serve in the army, pay taxes, vote in the elections, and be familiar with the lyrics of at least one Shalom Hanoch song. I think that the State of Israel is not only a place, it is also an idea, and I wholeheartedly believe in the three extra commandments engraved on the wall of the Holocaust museum in Washington: "Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but above all, thou shalt not be a bystander."

I am a Zionist.

I already laid down on my back to admire the Sistine Chapel, I bought a postcard at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, and I was deeply impressed by the emerald Buddha at the king's palace in Bangkok. Yet I still believe that Tel Aviv is more entertaining, the Red Sea is greener, and the Western Wall Tunnels provide for a much more powerful spiritual experience. It is true that I'm not objective, but I'm also not objective in respect to my wife and children.

I am a Zionist.

I am a man of tomorrow but I also live my past. My dynasty includes Moses, Jesus, Maimonides, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein, Woody Allen, Bobby Fischer, Bob Dylan, Franz Kafka, Herzl, and Ben-Gurion. I am part of a tiny persecuted minority that influenced the world more than any other nation. While others invested their energies in war, we had the sense to invest in our minds.

I am a Zionist.

I sometimes look around me and become filled with pride, because I live better than a billion Indians, 1.3 billion Chinese, the entire African continent, more than 250 million Indonesians, and also better than the Thais, the Filipinos, the Russians, the Ukrainians, and the entire Muslim world, with the exception of the Sultan of Brunei. I live in a country under siege that has no natural resources, yet nonetheless the traffic lights always work and we have high-speed connection to the Internet.


I am a Zionist.

My Zionism is natural, just like it is natural for me to be a father, a husband, and a son. People who claim that they, and only they, represent the "real Zionism" are ridiculous in my view. My Zionism is not measured by the size of my kippa, by the neighborhood where I live, or by the party I will be voting for. It was born a long time before me, on a snowy street in the ghetto in Budapest where my father stood and attempted, in vain, to understand why the entire world is trying to kill him.

I am a Zionist.

Every time an innocent victim dies, I bow my head because once upon a time I was an innocent victim. I have no desire or intention to adopt the moral standards of my enemies. I do not want to be like them. I do not live on my sword; I merely keep it under my pillow.

I am a Zionist.

I do not only hold on to the rights of our forefathers, but also to the duty of the sons. The people who established this state lived and worked under much worse conditions than I have to face, yet nonetheless they did not make do with mere survival. They also attempted to establish a better, wiser, more humane, and more moral state here. They were willing to die for this cause, and I try to live for its sake.


Yehudi said...

That is an amazing letter, BK. Shabbat shalom.

Anonymous said...

where is the torah? where is HaShem? it is this kind of zionism that neglects our spiritual foundation that ultimately leads us into problems.

you mentioned neither of these all through your piece.

there is only one reason israel exists and that the jewish people exists (or anything else) and that is Hashem yitborach. period.

you don't have to be religious.

but to neglect that neglects the whole thing.

not one mention of HaShem, of torah and not even one pasuk.

it is this neglectful mentality that makes it hard for us.

are you aware that the secular zionsits intended to separate, G-d forbid, religion/torah/G-d from 'zionism' because they wanted to make israel like the nations.

big mistake.

i'm not saying that you don't believe in H' or torah, but you don't mention it, even once.

devarim 4:39
"you shall know this day and take to your heart that HaShem is the G-d-- in heaven above and on earth below--there is none other."

as the breslovers sing:
yesh rak Ha Kodesh Baruch Hu
there is only the Holy One Blessed be He.

if you want true zionism, the tziyon that is yerushalayim, the land of israel, the children of israel...

then you and all of us, am yisrael, must be meaningfully connected to the torah of Hashem.

i'm not telling you how to do it.

but i am telling you the essential point.

torah is our life.

to truly say "ani tzioni"..

means a deep, abiding devotion and or intention of deovotion to am yisrael, eretz yisrael and torah yisrael.

this is why the world was created, for the sake of israel.

we know this.

and all of us, all of am yisrael needs to act accordingly.

by showing ahavat yisrael, strengthening each other in torah, mitzvos, gmilut chasadim tovim, etc.

our keeping the land is contingent on this.

i think, deep in your soul you understand well and agree with all that i wrote.

bring it out!

we have to help awaken each others souls. that's why we're here!!!!!

Anonymous said...

ah, i just see this is not you, it is written by yair lapid.

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic post. Thank you so much it.

Anonymous said...

Well thought out and well written. I hope that your message gets out. I would like to post a link to this on my blog.

Michael said...

Well, Lapid couldn't have summed up my reasons for moving here any better than that.

I am a Zionist.

Anonymous said...

for those who want to lionize yair lapid, read this,from arutzsheva, re lapid's role in smearing orange soldier who refused to shake halutz' hand

Despite the above, the Dayan family apparently did not even realize how resentful of Stern they had a right to be – until they later found out that Stern had actually leaked classified military information about Chananel to a Haaretz columnist, who used the information to malign the young soldier.

Columnist Yair Lapid wrote an article very critical and insulting of Sgt. Dayan, mocking him and his nationalist political views. Rabbi Dayan sued Lapid and demanded that he reveal his sources of information - and in the course of the trial, he was astonished to find among the documents presented by Lapid’s lawyer several military documents.

After further investigation, Rabbi Dayan realized that Gen. Stern had made sure to send his friend Lapid some of the correspondence he had sent the President’s Residence in which he asked that the award be rescinded. The Dayans promptly filed a suit against Stern for violating the privacy to which every soldier is legally entitled.

i think for zion's sake should remove lapid's piece he doesn't deserve to be cited as a zion ideal.

vsegdagotov said...
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Anonymous said...

Do you honestly believe HaShem believes in Zionism and the current state of Israel? You are fools. Your god is the god of the egyptians, Ra. But all is good... the truth will prevail.

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