From driving “me crazy” to “no place I’d rather be” the author writes to her beloved Israel on her 75th Birthday
By Andi Saitowitz
I sit here listening to the radio programmes preparing for tomorrow, tears streaming down my face, each story and song piercing my heartstrings.
How deeply you are cherished.
How precious you are to us.
Even now, especially now.
You are protected by living and fallen heroes, brave and courageous, and you are an eternal treasured sacrifice that our people make every day just to ensure your survival.
As this difficult week will slowly turn into a festive one, I wanted to take a few minutes and wish you a very happy 75th Independence Day!
Just as everything about you is extreme, that’s how I feel today; extreme loss and pain and extreme gratitude and will for better. I feel privileged, grateful and blessed to be able to celebrate you. Even when things feel as messy as they feel these days.
I realize more and more as my life unfolds, how this honor was denied to many before me and painfully many today who don’t get to experience your glory and share their everyday with you.
I know that despite all the fragility at the moment, there is no place I’d rather be.
You continue to amaze me in countless ways and with each passing year, your growth and accomplishments leave me in awe. And yes – you sometimes drive me crazy too….and what’s happening within you, this turmoil, upsets me more than you can imagine.
While the uncertainty, division and unrest keep me up at night, I hold on to faith and hope, knowing we’ve come this far, despite all odds.
And I specifically want to acknowledge all that you are, because all that you’re not, is what everyone is focusing on and what we focus on grows so I want to look for your good and grow that.
In just 75 years – you have achieved unparalleled greatness.
In every field, you excel.
How utterly proud you should be, knowing that you are a pioneer and world leader: in medicine, technology, agriculture, science, security, education, sport and culture and above all – the willingness to help whoever you can, wherever possible – no matter what.
You have earned stature and status, recognition and power, you are often considered the center of the world’s stage and your position is so well-deserved.
In your humble, quiet and unassuming way, you have embodied the very meaning of transformation. Against all odds – you have not only endured tremendous pain and suffering, loss and agony – but you have thrived and shone and continue to be a bright light unto the nations.
It’s not easy having so many people wish you harm. I don’t doubt that for a second.
I can’t imagine the pressure you feel every day from trying to progress, using all of your might to advance and reach new goals, develop and expand and at the same time, facing harsh resistance internally and externally – every single step of the way.
So many people want to see you fail. And yet so many people want to see you win. Because when you do, we all do. Everything in the world is better when you are at your best.
You know your values, you know your principles and your worth and you continue to live by them with integrity and authenticity. I wish all our leaders would live your values more. I wish we all would. Truthfully.
It’s not always easy to like you – believe me, we’ve had our ups and downs, frustrations and reconcilements, I don’t always understand you, but it is completely effortless to love you – unconditionally.
And I know there are huge improvements to make – internally – we all do. We all have to do better. We all have to work on ourselves.
I wish I could heal some of your deepest wounds.
I wish I could tell you that next year will be so much simpler for you.
I wish I could guarantee that your obstacles and enemies will soon see your magnificence.
I wish I could promise that your contributions to the goodness of the world will be celebrated by everyone – but I can’t.
I can only promise that we will keep trying to make you proud.
We will keep creating, inventing, contributing, helping, giving – and in time, more and more will know your worth and acknowledge your legacy.
I can only share with you that the people who already love you – want to see you win – and the same very faith and unwavering belief in justice and G-d’s miracles will always continue to guide and support you.
I love that my children think in Hebrew.
I love that the supermarkets and gyms light a Chanukiah and the buses and highways wish us all a Chag Sameach.
I love that the entire country is wearing white tomorrow night and that on Yom Kippur, there isn’t a car to be seen.
I love the “only in Israel” moments because they are uniquely ours and one has to be here to feel it, to truly appreciate and understand it – you and your incredible polarities and idiosyncrasies.
I love the chutzpah, the deepest love and energy of your people for what they believe in and for one another.
I love that this tiny country has such a vibrant non-profit charitable sector.
I love representing you in the sports arena, you have instilled a spirit in your people that is filled with passionate fire and I try my hardest to showcase your beauty to all those who don’t know you well, or haven’t had the utter nachas of spending time with you and getting to know your incomparable personality.
Israel – thank you for inspiring me.
Israel – thank you for challenging me.
Israel – thank you for allowing me to live a meaningful life.
Israel – thank you for being my home.
I only wish you peace. In every single prayer.
G..d knows, it’s more than anything I wish you.
You bring me joy.
You make me smile and give me so many reasons to be thankful.
May you be showered with Hashem’s richest blessings.
May you grow from strength to strength.
May you remain true to your spirit and continue to drive change, empower others to bring out their best, and leave your indelible mark of greatness, excellence and contribution to whatever you develop, create, touch, grow and share with us and the world.
Here’s to many more happy, healthy and wonderful years ahead filled with plenty of new dreams coming true.
I know that when things seem like they’re falling apart, very often it means they just might be falling into place. Hold on.
Hold tight. The craziness inside you right now is necessary for transformation. It’s how all worthwhile change occurs; with cracks, discomfort, fear, pain, courage and hope.
We haven’t lost hope.
עוד לא אבדה תקוותנו
About the author:
Andi Saitowitz, a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, published author and lover of inspiration. Also a Personal Development Strategist, Life Coach, Mentor and Transformation Leader.
While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves. LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).