What this poster taught me about Israel?

Every year during the Jewish festival of on sukkot this iconic poster of the Israeli paratroopers that liberated the western wall hangs in my sukkah. It’s been in my sukkah for so many years that I cannot remember how or when it got here.

Each year I find myself staring at the poster which took place merely minutes from my home in Jerusalem. In fact, yesterday I exercised my “lockdown exercise” right and went for a bike ride with my son and in 5 minutes we were at the walls of the Old City.  We are living in History!!

The other thing that I noticed yesterday while studying the faces of the soldiers, is that they are all (except for two) looking in different directions. It could be an irrelevant observation but it could also be quite symbolic with much relevance for today’s times.

Our society in Israel, like many other places, is made of so many different types of people, that come from so many different places. Different backgrounds, beliefs, ideologies and opinions. We argue about everything in this country. From national defense, the size of demonstrations and prayer services during Corona, to the price of cottage cheese.  In other words, we are all STILL looking in different directions with varying opinions and visions of where this country is going.

YET, the most important thing is that just as in the picture, we must NEVER forget that we are all STILL wearing the same “uniform.” We all share this little place and the same destiny that comes with it. This means that we can argue about everything except the fact that we are all in this together. Our enemies make quite a good point of reminding us of this and when the rockets fly over the border or a terrorist thrusts out his knife, they make no distinction between us, regardless of what camp we belong too.

That seems to be the message of sukkot. When we hold our lulav and etrog together, each part representing a different member of society, only then, can we truly appreciate what we have here and reap the reward of our common future!

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