Blue and White: Shmuel Sackett

There Is No More ‘Yom’ HaZikaron

I have been living in Israel for 34 years and have always taken Yom HaZikaron very seriously....

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By the time you read this, we may well know the result of the Special Election for the City Council. But if you think there will be a respite from politics, guess again. The big election this year will be the Primary on June 22. The winner has already started running for re-election and potential opponents are already gearing up. They will start collecting signatures to get on the ballot in less than three weeks.

It is becoming clearer by the day that we had two great rabbinic leaders who told us what to do – but we didn’t listen. These two giants were crystal clear in what the State of Israel needed to do to defeat the enemy, but their words fell on deaf ears. I am referring to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Many of us would not consider ourselves political individuals and do not put going to the polls on our list of priorities. Nonetheless, casting your ballot gives you a voice on issues ranging from housing and education to employment and healthcare. Being involved in the voting process allows you make a real difference in the makeup and decisions within your community. Casting a vote has dire consequences for the quality of life that both you and your family experience today and in the years ahead. From riding the bus or train to raising minimum wage to getting better textbooks in school, your vote decides how these issues will play out. Casting your ballot affords you the opportunity to delegate how your hard-earned tax dollars are divvied out for necessities like medical expenses and social services that many take for granted.

I recently visited a kindergarten in northern Israel. The reason I traveled there was to see the “ganenet” (kindergarten teacher) in action, who happens to be my daughter Tova. For the past eight years, Tova has been a shining example for 32 kids each year (minimum), and my wife and I went to see her “home-away-from-home.” Knowing that I have lots of experience speaking before crowds, Tova asked me to teach them a few things about Yitzchak and Rivkah – the topic she had been focusing on for several weeks – and I happily agreed.

I have been living in Israel for 34 years and have always taken Yom HaZikaron very seriously. Unlike the fun, shopping, vacation, and barbecue day in America called “Memorial Day,” Yom HaZikaron is a very meaningful, somber, and emotional day. This year, however, there really is no more Yom HaZikaron (Remembrance Day) – because it has been replaced with Sh’nas HaZikaron (Remembrance Year).

The term “Jewish leadership” is tossed around quite frequently. We long for strong and proud leaders, but we can’t seem to find them. We question ourselves why this is so difficult and invent answers that aren’t true. Let me ask this question directly: Why is it so challenging to find people capable of leading the Jewish Nation? We build billion-dollar companies, have incredible scientific minds, and are geniuses in Torah wisdom, but we can’t find solid leaders?? Why is that so?? Here’s the answer: It’s because we’re looking in the wrong place!