March 30, 2005

Israel Story #2

I was walking near Ben Yehuda Street when five or so Israelis in their early twenties burst out of a bar dressed in costumes. They were shouting "Hag Samayach!" (happy holiday).

I was so happy to see my young brothers and sisters celebrating Purim with such joy (albeit a bit early).

Then my heart sank.

I realized they were celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

The conversation went like this:

Me: How can you celebrate a Catholic holiday? You're Jewish. This is Jerusalem. Where's your dignity? Where's your pride?

Them: We have our pride. We celebrate every holiday.

Me: Even Christmas?

Them: Of course!

Me: Do you fast on Ramadan as well?

to which they became confused and had no answer except to tell me to "f**k off."

My eyes were opened yet again and it became clear: to the average secular Israeli of today's generation:

1. Anything “American” is good. Everything American is “god”
2. Jewish dignity has been trumped by whatever feels good at that moment
3. The Westernization of the Israeli teen and young adult is near complete

How do you ask these people to serve in a Jewish Army and defend the Jewish homeland? How do you expect them to give their lives to defend something which they feel is inadequate and unimportant? Where is the education? Where is the exposure to Judaism?

This is why we are losing and this is how Israel is failing.

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