Friday I found myself driving a car full of gum-chewing, I-Pad playing kids to a baseball-game about an hour outside of Jerusalem. (*They were playing the baseball-game, it was just on the way there and back that they played on the I-Pad! 😉 Anyway, all of a sudden, as I was looking around at the terraced hills of Judea, it struck me again, – how privileged I am who gets to live my life right here! To do all these every-day-life tasks right here, in a place with thousands of year of real unique history!
I guess every place has its history, it is just that here, the history means so much to us! These places are so central to our faith! We can look around at the same views (*well, close to the same views…) as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did when they walked the land!! Quite amazing! And here I am just driving to a baseball-game!! I have to remind the kids to look around, – “look at the hills, they are still green, and they are not going to stay green for much longer.” They take a super-short break and look up from the I-Pad: – “Ah, yes, they look nice.” Not very impressed, this is just where they are growing up, home.
Today I was back on the road again. This time it was a work-related trip to Haifa, and I so enjoyed taking in the views of the Land of Israel, the Land that has been built up so greatly during the 65 years since the modern state of Israel was established. And what did I do in Haifa? I met with ten different immigrant families and helped them in practical ways in their process of settling in their new homeland. This is also something I always find very inspiring, – God’s prophecies are being fulfilled! He is bringing His people back to the Land that He promised them thousands of years ago!
All of this is extra special and relevant these days, because tonight we are starting our solemn Memorial day for the Holocaust victims, and next week we have the Memorial day for fallen soldiers and others who have given their life for the Land of Israel, and then we celebrate our great Independence Day. These days are all somewhat connected. Now we are focusing on the tragedy of the holocaust. We still have survivors among us, and we read their stories in the newspapers and magazines, hear them on the radio and see them on TV these days. It hurts our hearts to learn about what they had to go through, and about all their dear ones that they lost. But then when we see them with their families, – children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, – then we see who are the real victors! The faith and hope in life and a future is what has kept them going! They have spent their lives building up their lives, their families, their country. And now we are building together with them, continuing what generations before us started. It is all very exciting when you start thinking about it! We get to take our little part right now, and in that way we get to be part of something really, really huge, – we get to take a tiny little part in God’s huge plan! What a privilege!