Jewish American Heritage Month: Americans Jews Who Made an Impact

May is Jewish American Heritage Month. With antisemitism on the rise in frightening numbers, the easier thing would be to hide who we are. Instead, we should be loud and proud of who we are. In honor of this month, I would like to offer a small list of American Jews who have made an impact on this nation.

Proud Los Angeles GIF by LA vs. Hate - Find & Share on GIPHY

P.S. Last week was both Yom HaZikaron and Yom Haatzmaut. Happy Birthday Israel and may the memories of those who gave their lives for their country be a blessing.

Happy 73rd Birthday, Israel!

Today is Yom Haatzmaut, otherwise known as Israeli Independence Day.

Though no country is perfect, I find it astonishing that in a little less than three-quarters of a century, she has become a vibrant, thriving democracy. Out of the desert and the memory of a thousand generations in exile, a modern country has risen. Through blood, sweat, tears, and the belief in a higher power, she has become the vision that has kept Judaism alive.

It was prophesized in the Book of Ezekiel via Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones that a modern-day Israel would arise.

In his vision, the prophet sees himself standing in the valley full of dry human bones. He is commanded to carry a prophecy. Before him, the bones connect into human figures; then the bones become covered with tendon tissues, flesh, and skin. Then God reveals the bones to the prophet as the People of Israel in exile and commands the Prophet to carry another prophecy in order to revitalize these human figures, to resurrect them, and to bring them to the Land of Israel.

Happy Birthday Israel, may you live to see another 73 years and many more after that.

Yom Haatzmaut: They Tried to Kill Us, We Survived, Let’s Eat

There is an old joke about Jewish history:

“They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.” 

Today is Israel Independence Day (Yom Haatzmaut).

Today is both a day to celebrate and a day to remember. We celebrate because we have returned to the land of our ancestors. We can physically follow and pray in the footsteps of past generations who have long since shuffled off this mortal coil.

But we also remember those who gave their lives and those who continue to give their lives for Israel. I think most, if not all of us are aware that Israel lives in a neighborhood in which relations with their neighbors is tenuous at best.

I have had the pleasure of visiting Israel twice so far in my life. I can only describe both experiences as life altering. I hope to be able, at some point in the future, go for a third time.

May those who gave their lives for Israel’s security and freedom forever a blessing and may we continue to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut for many years to come.

Thoughts On Yom Haatzmaut

Earlier this week was Israeli Independence Day or Yom Haatzmaut.

I don’t want to tell you about the Israel that you see on the news. We all get enough of that when we turn on our televisions or open the local newspaper. I want to tell you about Israel that I have been to and I hope that one day, you will visit Israel for yourself.

Foodies will be in high heaven when they visit Israel. There are more than enough options to please any palate (vegan included). I haven’t been to Israel since 2005, but my mouth waters at the memory of some of the food that was consumed.

There is nothing like a home-cooked Bedouin meal with bread fresh from the oven.
If hospitality means good food, the Druze homeowners who invited American strangers into their homes for a meal understood the meaning of the word.

The beaches in Tel Aviv are some of the most beautiful beaches on earth.

Putting my toes into the Mediterranean was heaven, given that I was visiting when the East Coast was experiencing the usual cold January weather.

If there is one place that you visit in Israel, I recommend that you go to the Dead Sea. Besides the skin-nourishing mud, floating in the Dead Sea is an experience that you must have for yourself.

And finally, for the history buff, Jerusalem is the ultimate one-two punch of history and the modern world. One cannot help but see where the past and the present collide.

Jerusalem, if I forget you….
Jerusalem, where the past and the present collide.

Happy 71st birthday, Israel. May you have 71 more.

Thoughts On Yom Haatzmaut

For any country, their Independence Day is a day celebration and joy. In Israel, that feeling on Yom Ha’atzmaut is no different.

Earlier this week, the citizens of Israel celebrated their Independence Day. One of the many things Israel is known for the nickname of “startup nation“.

The list of innovations include:

  • ReWalk, an external skeleton to help paraplegics gain or regain the mobility that many of us take for granted.
  • The Pillcam: a capsule that contains a tiny camera and allows doctors to see inside of a patients digestive tract.
  • The flash drive.

I could go on, but I think the video below provides a greater list that I can compile.

While Israel and her leaders are far from perfect, the world should also be focusing on the good that the Israeli people have created instead just focusing on sensationalism headlines that may or may not be true.

Happy belated Yom Ha’atzmaut.

Yom Haatzmaut

Last week, Israelis celebrated  Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day.

I could talk about the wonderful things that that the Israelis have accomplished in a mere 68 years, but I will let Mayim Bialik share why Israeli is so special.

Happy Birthday Israel, here is to another 68 years.

%d bloggers like this: