Opinion: We, as Israelis, always have something to complain about; this year, as we sit around the holiday table, instead of arguing let’s celebrate our compatriots and the sacrifices they made, so we could all have a happy new year
Jewish man blasts the shofar (Photo: Shutterstock)
On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, we will all sit around the table for the traditional holiday meal, eat a slice or two of apple dipped in honey and pray for the upcoming Jewish year to be full of good news.
And then the arguments, which we’ve grown so used to, will begin.
Arguments about the new government and the previous one, about Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, praising and vilifying the Haredim, supporting and opposing the integration of Israeli Arabs into Israeli society and for dessert, complain about or cheer for the national soccer team.
This year, I’m humbly asking you to try a different approach. One that focuses on Israeli society’s achievements over the past year rather than its shortcomings. Instead of ripping into one another, let’s applaud the citizens who took personal responsibility and went to get vaccinated against coronavirus to keep small businesses afloat.
Let’s celebrate the teachers who went out of their way to educate our children with a warm hug, those who had to reinvent themselves and teach in the schoolyard and or in the park just so the education system could stay open.
Let’s look in the eyes of the doctors and medical teams who give their everything and fight for every patient. They didn’t see their homes and families for days on end at the peak of the pandemic, who held every patient’s hand and made sure each and every one will get the best treatment.
They never took a break, even long after we stopped applauding them from our balconies, and no matter how tedious, exhausting and near impossible their job became.
Let’s say a good word about our lawmakers. You read it right — those who spent night and day in parliament and made the tough decisions.
Let’s celebrate the Israeli volunteer spirit which is like no other around the world. Thousands of volunteers – silent, invisible angels who work far from the limelight and make sure every lonely senior citizen has a hot meal and someone to talk to.
Let’s make sure to say a good word about the local authorities who have demonstrated endless resilience in the face of the pandemic and security situation.
Let’s praise the journalists and commentators in the studios who gave us all a sense of security to express our opinions fearlessly and impartially.
And lest we forget, let’s thank those who keep us safe — IDF, Israel Police, Shin Bet, Mossad, and all the brave men and women who chose to dedicate their lives to the protection of the State of Israel. Many of them will not get to sit around the holiday table like us. They will be guarding our cities, our borders and guarding us on missions overseas.
And as we gobble down our dessert, let’s all promise ourselves that this year we will continue to be as opinionated but less firm. We will continue to express our opinion but to a slightly less decisive degree.
Let’s try to listen, but also to understand that we’re all standing – together and separately – at the doorstep of a new year. This togetherness is key to the national resilience of the Israeli society.