Wednesday, December 15, 2010

~Day 24~ Inspiration ~

Every country has men and women who are an inspiration. Their lives of sacrifice for principle and vision at the cost of their own comfort, bring about a new life for others and urge them forward. There are times when The 2 Spies need inspiration.  The Torah is our first source of inspiration. From the Words of G-d Himself we find daily strength, purpose and meaning. 

In the history of Israel, G-d has given us others who gave all to pioneer this nation. Their lives speak to us to remind us and to help clarify our own sense of being and show us our tiny part in the building of Israel. It is an awesome and sometimes overwhelming responsibility to be called to live in Israel and give all. In looking back at the lives of these chalutzim (pioneers) we realize they were frail flesh just we are but somewhere, somehow they fulfilled a destiny set out for them. They walked a path they did not know and prepared the ground for the future growth they would not see. 

We now, with gratitude, walk that path because of their dedication. We walk in an essence of faith that we will fulfill our destiny in part, a new type of pioneer, and make a way for the next generations. Like those before us, we will never know the complete work that we have accomplished. But, with trust in G-d, we know that our lives will not be in vain.  Today's blog is dedicated to those who came before us~ known and unknown~ with deepest gratitude for all they sacrificed to make our Home what it is today.

David Ben-Gurion & Golda Meir
Here are a few select quotes from three of our Pioneers:

Golda Meir  Israel Founder and Prime Minister

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”

“One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”

“Those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either.”

“Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short.”

“A leader who doesn't hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader.”

“Whether women are better than men I cannot say - but I can say they are certainly no worse.”

“We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel.”

David Ben-Gurion  Polish born  Israeli Statesman and Prime Minister (1948-53, 1955-63). Chief architect of the state of Israel and revered as Father of the Nation

“If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert”

 “Courage is... the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared.”

“Israel has created a new image of the Jew in the world - the image of a working and an intellectual people, of a people that can fight with heroism.”

“In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles”

Abba Eban
Abba Eban Foreign Minister of Israel 1915

“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”

“Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives.”

“One of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all”


  1. December 15th 2010 (24):
    Part 1 of 2

    It has perplexed me when visitors come to Israel, for whatever reason, decide not to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial centre.

    I can only speak from my perspective as a gentile believer in Yeshua, with a heart for Eretz Yisrael and the Jewish people, how anyone could even begin to separate a people from her history. To understand better her history better prepares you to understand her present views and her future aspirations. To take away the bedrock of history isolates any people and ludicrously makes ignorant any who speak on her.

    It was in 1997, on the first opportunity I had, that I made my way to Yad Vashem. Coming out of the museum my emotions were so churning that I went for a walk and ended up in the Valley of the Communities just staring at the countless cities, towns and villages whose names were lovingly engraved into the rich bedrock of it's 107 walls as the hot summer sun beat down. In fact the names of some 5,000 Jewish communities are to be found there: every one either destroyed or barely survived the Holocaust.

    As I gazed on the names, some I knew but most I didn't, I finally came upon the name I was searching for: SEVASTOPOL (in the Crimea). Why did such a place interest me? Well, the village in which I grew up, and still live, came into being at the time of the Crimean War and took it's name (SEBASTOPOL) from that Black Sea port. I thought my search was at it's end ... but it wasn't. The good LORD then used the intense heat of the day to cause me to enter Beit Hakehillot, which, unknown to me, housed a temporary exhibition. That day the exhibition was about the small Polish village of Luboml. The contents of that exhibition had me in tears. From a small booklet I picked up, I learned that at the start of WWII the village had about 3,700 Jews. At it's end only 3 survived. Words seem so inadequate at a time like that. For the second time my emotions were in abject turmoil. As I continued reading I discovered that it was one of those survivors who was responsible, with help, to collate the LUBOML EXHIBITION with the expressed purpose that this gross inhumanity would never be forgotten. The yellowing photographs, each one with the story of the person contained within it’s frame, brought home to me that each person had lived a vibrant life and had future desires to live. Cruelly these aspirations were cut short.

    Steve Perry (UK) <><

  2. December 15th 2010 (24)
    Part 2 of 2

    Once more, back out in the hot sun, I walked up the road I had earlier walked down until I reached the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations. As I stood by many trees my thoughts focussed not only on the heroic acts of each but also on the fear there must have been within the heart of each valiant soul who helped those who were helpless to help themselves. With every passing day, more and more remarkable selfless acts of sacrifice come to our attention and inspire us to a higher-life. Again the incredibly disciplined life of young Anne Frank gave birth to her Diary that has inspired so many down through the years. Also, Corrie ten Boom and her entire family were arrested in 1944. That same year at Ravensbrück concentration camp her sister, Betsie, was killed by a camp guard. Remarkably, in 1947, after she had been teaching in Germany, Corrie was approached by that same guard. Unable to forgive, she prayed that she would be able to. She later wrote: “For a long moment we grasped each other's hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God's love so intensely as I did then.”

    To slightly alter David Ben-Gurion’s words we could say from the vantage point of history: “In Israel, in order to be [an inspirer of others] you must believe in miracles.”

    John Lubbock, the English Biologist and Politician (1834-1913), once said: “To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being.”

    So true.

    What might not be so readily known, but nevertheless, like the LUBOML EXHIBITION, needs never to be forgotten is how the Jewish people I have spoken to and know have so clearly a gracious and humble spirit that has so provoked me to re-evaluate my life. What a blessing to me are the Jewish people. Even in times when you may feel that you have nothing to offer or have imparted nothing, you have bestowed on me more than you can ever know.

    Steve Perry (UK) <><

    [PS: After a 10 years’ search I finally had in my hands the English language version of the book, “Yizkor Book of Luboml” which chronicled, so expertly, the savage decline of this one small village in Poland. [“Luboml: The Memorial Book of a Vanished Shtetl” © 1997 ISBN: 0-88125-580-7] ]


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