David Raziel: A Pre-State Hero’s Story of Final Rest

In one part of the military cemetery in Jerusalem stands a lone and unusual gravestone, marking the grave of David Raziel, Commander of Etzel (also known as the Irgun, a Zionistparamilitary organization that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948). Not many are aware that this is Raziel’s third resting spot, after he was first interred in a British military cemetery in Iraq and later moved to a Jewish cemetery in Cyprus.

Ruminations on Memory and its Transmission to the Next Generation

Every year, the days between Passover and Independence Day are a period of rumination for me regarding the purpose of personal, familial, and national memory. Twenty-four years have passed since my son Uriel Yitzchaq of blessed memory, an infantry officer in the IDF, passed away, and I wonder what elements of my family story, prototypical of the Jewish-Israeli narrative of this generation, shall be remembered in my family in the years to come? What part of the heroic account of the “Holocaust and Renewal” generation shall remain in the collective memory of later generations?

Joy and Gladness on the Ninth of Av and Yom Ha’atzma’ut

As a Zionist and a religious Jew, I see God’s hand in the rebirth of the Jewish state, and the subsequent restoration of ancient Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to Jewish sovereignty. In fact, while most religious Zionists believe that the State of Israel marksthe beginning of the burgeoning of our redemption, my sense is that this rebirth and restoration are the totality of the promised redemption foretold by the prophets of yore, for which Jews have prayed for 2000 years.

The Labor of Sovereignty: Remembrance Day and Independence Day

After celebrating Pessch and our exodus from Egypt, come the days of fear and trepidation: Holocaust Remembrance day, Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers, Independence Day and Jerusalem Day; the new commemorative days, engraved in the book of chronicles of our time, days of testimony on the destruction of our people and its revival in Zion.

Celebrating 57: Israeli Independence Day

11:00 a.m.

The siren to commemorate Israel’s fallen has just sounded throughout the country. Each year, while standing at attention,  it never ceases to amaze me how those two minutes seem to last an eternity, and how my eternity cannot fathom the “true eternity” that exists for the bereaved of the more than 20,000 soldiers who have given their lives in the defense of this nation since its founding 57 years ago…

The Redemption is Like The Dawn

This week we celebrate Israel Independence Day – but the atmosphere this year is strained. There is depression which stems from the Intifada and the feeling that there is no way to achieve peace. In order to overcome this feeling, we have to stand back and look at the achievements of Zionism during the past one hundred years. We need to look at this period as a process of slow redemption or “the beginning of the redemption”.