Lighting Up the World for Israel
6 years ago eglazer 0
When I think of Israel, the first word that comes to mind is ‘home.’ It represents the home of my people, and of my heritage. Although I have not been to Israel yet, I know it is a country that will welcome me when I do go on a group trip G-D willing this summer.
Israel is a place for everyone around the world to go and feel connected spiritually. Israel is the place that allows people to express themselves. A person of any religion can practice their beliefs and feel safe. Even for the people who are not religious, Israel is a welcoming country that is always happy to see new visitors. People always told me that when they go to Israel, they feel a sense of connection that they never felt anywhere else. I have not made it to Israel yet, but I have wanted to go all my life. I feel a sense of pride knowing that Israel is the Jewish homeland. It makes me feel happy to be a Jew. I’m counting down the days until I can go to Israel and experience life there.
Over the past few weeks, life has taken a difficult turn for people living in Israel. After a few months of silence, Israelis are once again subjects of violent, hateful crimes. Over fifteen people were killed and hundreds have been wounded in these terror attacks. As I’ve sat by in the US and watched all of this take place from the comfort of my own home, I couldn’t help but think that I should be doing something—anything—to help people in Israel. I may have never traveled to Israel, but Israel is home, and the Jewish nation is one.
In honor of the safety of Israel, I have taken upon myself the mitzvah of lighting the Shabbat candles every week. Each Friday before sundown I prepare candle sticks for me and my mom, and together, we welcome the Shabbat. Shabbat candles are a mitzvah that I took part in from time to time, usually during special occasions, but never every week. Now it is something special that I look forward to every week. It is with pleasure that I am adding a little bit more light into this time of darkness.
As Jews we have to keep adding light; we can not let what is happening keep us from being ourselves, or from living Jewish lives. These actions have kept the Jewish people going from generation to generation, and will help us continue for many years to come. You too can add more light into the world by increasing in your observance of mitzvot. Israel is our home, and we have to keep it safe in any way we can. Let’s do it! Am Yisrael Chai!