Colors: Yellow Color

I remember it like it happened yesterday. The year was 1979 and I was studying in BMT – Bet Midrash L’Torah, in Jerusalem. It was time for our first tiyul, and our guide, Eli Horowitz, son of our Rosh Yeshivah, was leading the hike. (Sad note: 24 years later, Rabbi Eli Horowitz and his wife, Adina, were brutally murdered by Arabs. May Hashem avenge their blood.) Eli, who had not yet been ordained as a rabbi, was an amazing guide and told us to take water and a Tanach (Bible) for the tiyul.

In the last few days, I have been asked the same question, 1,000 times: “What’s going to be with our beloved Israel?” and my answer has always been the same: “The future is bright! Things are going to be great, and I am not worried at all.” One second – not worried about the protests? Not worried about the hatred in the eyes of the Left? Not worried about the lack of unity among the people? No, no, and again, no! I am not worried, and let me explain why.

Recently, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, was summoned to a meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. This might not seem like a big deal to you – after all, he was simply asked to attend a meeting, right? Wrong! In the diplomatic world of ambassadors, being “summoned to a meeting” is the equivalent of being asked to see the principal in high school for something you did – not good!

Like everyone else on the planet, I receive dozens of email advertisements. Most of them don’t even catch my eye – except for this one. It contained an interesting subject line – “We Did It” – and it caught my attention. I opened the email, looked at the graphics – and almost called Hatzalah for the stroke and heart attack I was expecting to have at any moment.

I was asked a simple question the other morning, just before davening: “Why doesn’t Israel just finish the job?” The question came from a dear friend who made aliyah from the United Kingdom close to eight years ago. He and his wife love their life in Israel and regret only one thing: not coming earlier. He admits that politics never interested him, and only recently has started following the tennis match of Israeli political viewpoints. Everybody he talks to tries pulling him in his ideological direction, and while he appreciates the education, he has become quite confused. So, what does one do when he is confused about Israeli politics? He speaks to me, and I confuse them even more!

I must have received 100 emails, phone calls, WhatsApps, and even handwritten notes (yes, I have some very old friends) from people asking me to summarize what is happening in Israel. Left-wing protests, right-wing protests, Defense Minister fired, highways blocked, airport closed, hospitals on strike… well, at least the falafel guy is still open. Okay, here goes…