Can you imagine a whole country stopping dead in their tracks? Is it conceivable that in the middle of a busy day, in the middle of a busy highway, traffic would come to a literal standstill, with people getting out of their car and standing still?! Think about millions of people going about their day but the Television, radio, and all forms of media change their programming and focus on national mourning. Think about closing all the restaurants and tourist attractions because our collective soul is in mourning. Powerful. That’s living in Eretz Yisrael.
I heard a story today that a family by accident made a wedding for the night of Yom Hashoah and after they realized their mistake it was too late to change their plans, so they went on. But in the middle of the wedding the police came and told the band they were not allowed to play anymore and that it all must shut down. The family and friends were torn between their personal joy and their national responsibility to mourn. And what of the expense? Before they had a chance to decide the owner of the hall told the parents that he was shutting down, he felt bad about having a wedding at such a time, but he would hold for them a special Sheva Brachot the following day for free! Remarkable. That’s living in Eretz Yisrael.
It is Jewish consciousness built into the very fabric of our culture; it is realizing that even the most secular Jew taking pride in his heritage and acknowledging our uniqueness. It is cherishing our past while reveling in our present and praying for a better future.
Is there corruption, yes; are there internal and external crises, sure; is it a struggle to make a living, absolutely; but one thing I know for sure—I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else at any other time in history.