Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Israel-Our Triumphant Homeland

Just want to share with you some Zim comings and goings this summer…Three of my grandsons (Jonathan, Jordan & Jared – Craig’s kids) just returned from a back-packing trip to Europe. They enjoyed visiting several countries but their main focus was to step foot on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where so many Jews were murdered by the hands of the Nazis, and to pay tribute to their memory. All three boys said Kaddish together and were incredibly emotional as they tried to digest the horrors that occurred on the earth where they were standing. At the same time, they also made it their mission to visit many synagogues across Europe to show their support to the Jewish community and to stand as a symbol to those who tried to destroy the Jewish people that we are survivors and our Synagogues are still vibrant and a part of European society.  When the boys came back from their trip, you could see on their faces how immensely touched they were by what they had seen and observed.

My grandson, Ryan (one of Eric’s sons), just left to Israel on a Birthright trip.  If they would only extend the allowed age, I’d love to join them. When one of my grandsons tells me they are going to Israel, I start exploring and thinking about all the amazing and impressive achievements that they have accomplished in a mere 67 years. So young and so small, yet so accomplished. What a remarkable nation our beloved State of Israel is.

Israeli society is special and unique, both from a humanistic perspective as well as a pioneering perspective. Surrounded by conflict, violence & terrorism, the story of the Israeli people is one of resilience, innovation, family & their roots. A country, born in the middle of the desert, with very limited natural resources, and with countless enemies surrounding her… yet, despite the extraordinary challenges and risks , Israel’s creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness have made her one of the most developed and advanced countries in the world today. Israel is not only productive for her own benefit but through all of her innovative advancements, in the fields of science, technology, medicine & environment, she is able to help make the world a better place by sharing her achievements.

The Chutzpah we may observe in Israeli’s is not really ‘nerve’ or ‘audacity’. It is actually what gives them the inner strength to challenge and not to take “no” for an answer when the world around them is criticizing them. Israeli’s believe they can accomplish things that are considered unattainable. They believe that learning & constantly questioning is what makes innovation possible. Their “Chutzpah” has attained incredible achievements.

Let me share with you just a few of the achievements that make Israel one of the greatest nations in the world…

I just learned about the “Netafim Drip Irrigation System” discovered and created in Israel.  In simple terms, instead of spraying lots of water from pipes and hoses in use for irrigation, they have little holes spread across pipes that drip small amounts of water on to the land. They discovered that tiny drops are really all you need for cultivation and agriculture. This incredible irrigation system allows Israel to grow large amounts of fruits and vegetables and export them for economic growth. They have shared this system with other countries who now utilize it with great success.

I also learned about an organization in Israel called SAVE A CHILDS HEART (SACH), based in Holon, Israel. They provide urgent pediatric heart surgery and follow up care (free of charge) for poor children from third world countries. It does not matter to them the race, creed, color, religion or nationality of the children. They just SAVE LIVES. Also, after the disastrous earthquakes and Tsunami’s that took place in Haiti and Japan, Israeli missions were some of the first to be there to help.

Israeli’s strongly believe in family, roots and education and they truly overcome adversity! They believe in MITZVOT, TZEDAKA and TIKKUN OLAM.  We are a unique people and Israel is a unique nation! I am sure my grandson Ryan will come back from Israel glowing with pride just as my other grandsons did when they returned from our Holy Land.

I am now planning the new music programs for next year. I will let you know the dates soon.

Have a wonderful summer. Stay Cool, stay hydrated and stay healthy!

See you in Shul.

Cantorially always,
Cantor Sol Zim