Israel’s Children

Israel’s Children

Yesterday I saw a group of about 50 7-year-olds being led down a Nachlaot alleyway by their teacher as she held an Israeli flag high above her head.

My neighborhood, historic Nachlaot, is Jerusalem’s 2nd most popular destination for tourists (after the Old City). So I’m very used to seeing multiple sunglass-wearing, water-bottle-toting tour groups a day from all over Israel and the world. But I don’t remember the last time a tour group got me as choked up as those 50 excited 7-year-olds marching along after their idealistic teacher in their matching aqua school t-shirts.

In my minds eye, as I watched those kids, I envisioned another group of Jewish children standing in a line not so long ago. Children waiting to have numbers tattooed on their arms. Children waiting for their daily lump of stale bread to quiet but still barely take away their hunger. Children waiting to be sent to the right or left—to life or to the crematoria.

And to see those kids yesterday, belting out a song about how much they love Israel and walking behind that waving Israeli flag…it felt suddenly so unbelievable.

70 years ago, would any of the million doomed children HY”D have even dared to dream, I thought, that today the land of Israel would be full of tens of thousands of Jewish children just like them, but nothing like them. Singing children, smiling children, children running along with their ponytails and tsitsiot flying in the Middle Eastern wind.

Jewish children thriving in the vibrant sunshine of this Jewish homeland that their forefathers and foremothers yearned for and prayed to return to for 2000 years.

Isn’t it amazing, I thought, that after 18 years in Israel, the miracle that is our life here still moves me to tears.

I haven’t become jaded or cynical or disillusioned about Israel.

In fact, the opposite is true. If anything, as I see my own children growing and growing in this holy Land, my awareness of this tremendous miracle called the State of Israel continues to grow and grow as well.

Like a flower drinking in the rays of Sun that Hashem Himself placed in Heaven.

Thank You, thank You, thank You, God.

Photo by user Jafi1

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