As you may have heard, Sydney Uni SRC has adopted a motion to support the boycott of the Technion, as part of the BDS campaign against Israel.
Please take 15 seconds out of your day to sign the petition on the link below, to let the SRC know that we are more than upset with their decision, and that nothing short of a full revocation of the motion will suffice!
Well, now that Yom Ha’atzmaut is truly over here, I suppose it’s time to reflect.
Last night I went to a special tefillah at my shule and then to a concert sponsored by the community. The concert was a fun, self deprecating exhibition of Israeli culture. It included quite a few speeches, short comedy performances, a video message from the Shnat kids in Israel and two songs (accompanied by dances) from each decade of Israel’s existence. The song that the concert ended on was מי שמאמין לא מפחד.
To me, this perfectly summarises what I believe Yom Ha’atzmaut is all about. It’s about recognising the miracles of Israel’s existence and giving thanks to God. It’s about realising that Israel’s independence is not just historically or politically important to the Jewish people and the world, but has a great religious significance.
The creation of the Jewish state is the fulfilment of a 2,000 year old dream and even though we have not reached the Geulah Shleimah, Israel is ראשית צמיחת גאולתנו.
That’s why to me, celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut with a special Tefillah and Hallel is so important. Essentially, it’s a Chag and we should treat it with the respect that it deserves, rather than just eating Felafel and wearing blue and white.
When an official body like the local and federal Zionist council (by no means Orthodox organisations) decide to end the evening’s festivities with a song recognising Hashem, it proves to me that we’re really in אתחלתא דגאולה and will merit to see the גאולה שלמה במהרה בימינו אמן.
Chag Atzmaut Sameach!
Despite all that has happened over the past week, we are still committed to our original mission statement.
No apologies necessary.
I’ll make a list of reasons. Really, though, it might be easier to answer why it wouldn’t be offensive. Also note that when I use the second person pronoun in the answer, I am not speaking to you specifically, but to anyone who might read this.
- Israel is the home…
This Parsha discusses the final 3 of the 10 plagues and the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. The Parsha also makes numerous references to the Land of Israel.
. וְהָיָה כִּי יְבִאֲךָ יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֶל אֶרֶץ הַכְּנַעֲנִי כַּאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לְךָ וְלַאֲבֹתֶיךָ וּנְתָנָהּ לָךְ:
And it will come…
As I stand on this rostrum, the long and proud history of my people unravels itself before my inward eye. I see the oppressors of our people over the ages as they pass one another in evil procession into oblivion. I stand here before you as the representative of a strong and flourishing people which has survived them all and which will survive this shameful exhibition and the proponents of this resolution.
The great moments of Jewish history come to mind as I face you, once again outnumbered and the would-be victim of hate, ignorance and evil. I look back on those great moments. I recall the greatness of a nation which I have the honor to represent in this forum. I am mindful at this moment of the Jewish people throughout the world wherever they may be, be it in freedom or in slavery, whose prayers and thoughts are with me at this moment.
I stand here not as a supplicant. Vote as your moral conscience dictates to you. For the issue is neither Israel nor Zionism. The issue is the continued existence of this organization, which has been dragged to its lowest point of discredit by a coalition of despots and racists.
The vote of each delegation will record in history its country’s stand on anti-Semitic racism and anti-Judaism. You yourselves bear the responsibility for your stand before history, for as such will you be viewed in history. We, the Jewish people, will not forget.
For us, the Jewish people, this is but a passing episode in a rich and event-filled history. We put our trust in our Providence, in our faith and beliefs, in our time-hallowed tradition, in our striving for social advance and human values, and in our people wherever they may be. For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance, is devoid of any moral or legal value."
— Chaim Herzog’s speech after the UN passed Resolution 3379, which declared Zionism to be racism. (via byerushalayim)
אין שטחים - יש רק ארץ ישראל