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  • Zack Bodner

Israel

Today is May 14. On this day 73 years ago, Israel declared its independence. And while I wish I were joyously celebrating with Israel today, instead, I am watching Israel defend itself against rockets and riots, and I’m filled with a variety of other emotions. I’m worried reading texts from cousins forced to take cover in bomb shelters night after night and listening to stories from friends who can hear Molotov cocktails exploding in their neighborhood. I’m frustrated watching the new anchors, pundits and world leaders constantly condemn and criticize Israel for defending itself. And I’m proud observing my 14-year old son talk to his classmates about the situation and defend Israel. Then I remember, it’s still Israel’s anniversary today, so there’s still reason to be joyful. So on this Shabbat, I offer this little blessing: May Israel be strong enough to defend itself and courageous enough to keep the moral high ground. May the holiday of Shavuot tomorrow night be quiet enough that Jews can gather and learn all night long. And may we see a quick resolution to this conflict so that all the people of Israel and its neighbors can live in peace.

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