Thursday, April 23, 2015

Earth Day Needs To Take A Back Seat

The more you know... 'Palestine' was a British creation. 
You may have missed it but yesterday was Earth Day. While this particular box on the calendar may be important for some, it really takes a back seat for many of us as there is a much more important moment to celebrate. Actually, it begins with a day of mourning which is quickly followed by celebration. Besides, it is a little late to be celebrating Tu B’Shevat.

Beginning on Tuesday night and into Wednesday we honor the sacrifices that many Israelis, soldiers and civilians, who lost their lives. While Yom Hazikaron has been traditionally dedicated to fallen soldiers, commemoration has now been extended to civilian victims of political violence, Palestinian political violence, and terrorism in general. This Israeli Memorial Day is a serious and somber occasion as there is no one in the Jewish State who has not been effected by these losses. It is a day when, for a brief moment, the world stops and remembers…

We honor those sacrifices but celebrating the following day. We remember the lives lost and honor their memories by celebrating our Independence. It wasn’t long ago when this was impossible having been scattered into the diaspora for hundreds of years, persecuted, and murdered. Now, on Yom Ha’atzmaut, we celebrate the fact that we have been able to return home, live independently, and defend ourselves.

With all that has transpired in recent years, particularly in recent months, this day is more important than ever. It is a victorious moment in our history that we must carry with us along with the horrors that preceded our return to our homeland. Our existence, our independence, is a constant struggle that is continuously under attack from those around us. Some attacks are obvious while other undermining efforts are quite subtle… this has definitely been proven lately.

We all have our differences in this uniquely diverse holy land but it is also that same land that binds us together as one people. This bond goes well beyond religion as there are more than just Jews in the Jewish State. This bond is to the land, to one another, and to our right to exist. Our independence brings us together as one people, as Israelis.

So while some people, particularly in the United States, saw the day as one dedicated to nature and the environment, there are many that see this as a time to honor sacrifices as well as celebrate achievements. It is a time that marks the loss of life as well as a return home. It is both a day to celebrate people and the land, our land, our homeland, the Holy Land.