So with Rosh Hashanah and all the high holy days coming up, the difference between toronto and our homes in Israel at these times is becoming very significant, and originally that’s what we intended to talk about. But with the passing of Shimon Peres we couldn’t remain indifferent to it. We can’t find the words that will convey to you why this is so significant for us because it’s very emotional. We originally found a passage by Yair Lapid a former writer and journalist, and a current politician. We believe that in a way what he wrote can show the unique Israeli experience and mentality that we relate to as Israelis and that we miss so much during these times. We decided to read the passage anyways, because we find Shimon Peres as one of the greatest symbols of Israel unrelated to politics, and this is our way of bringing his memory to you.
“This is the only country where a patriot is someone in a car at a red light who buys a blue and white flag that was manufactured by a Thai worker out of a fabric that was woven in a Gaza sweat-shop from a Russian boy.
It’s the only country where the unemployed go on strike.
It’s the only country where 60-somethings still despise their platoon commander from basic training.
It’s the only country with members of parliament who choose to remain
silent can’t be quiet.
It’s the only country where the Transport Ministry has erected a roadside sign reading: “Cohens, keep to the left of the road”, leaving drivers wishing that the Cohanim will drive a little bit faster please.
It’s the only country where people visiting your home for the first time ask “Can I help myself to something from your fridge?”(If you are lucky. Some don’t ask.)
It’s the only country where you can get a read on the security status of the country simply from listening to which songs the DJ is playing on the radio.
It’s the only country where a corporal’s mother has the cell-phone number of the platoon commander (and he better watch out…)
It’s the only country that’s launched a telecommunication satellite into space, but where no one lets you finish a sentence.
It’s the only country that has come under fire by missiles from Iraq, Katyushas from the Lebanon, suicide bombers from Gaza, and shells from Syria, yet a three-roomed apartment still costs more than one in Paris.
It’s the only country where an Israeli meal is composed of Arabic salad, Romanian kebabs, Iraqi pita bread, and creme Bavaria.
It’s the only country where Muslims sell holy souvenirs to Christians, in return for currency bearing the features of Maimonides. (הרמב”ם)
It’s the only country where you leave home at 18 to go to the army, and at 24 you’re still living there after you are done.
It’s the only country where, on a first date, the guy asks his date where she did her army service. It’s also the only country where it turns out that she was more of a combat soldier than he was…
It’s the only country where just 60 seconds separates the saddest day from the happiest.
It’s the only country where most people can’t explain why they live where they do, but have a ton of reasons why it’s the best place to live.
It’s the only country where, if you despise politicians, abhor clerks, hate the situation, are disgusted with the taxes, loathe the standard of service, and detest the weather, it’s a sign that you love it.
And it’s the only country I could ever live in.”
Shabbat Shalom and Shanah Tovah
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