He Who Saves A Life

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “He Who Saves A Life.”

We all know the Jewish dictum of “He who save a life, saves the world.” In Judaism, every single life is invaluable, and hence we are even allowed to violate the holy Shabbat for the preservation of human life (“Pikuach Nefesh“). Similarly, when it came to a prisoner exchange for IDF Sargent first Class, Gilad Shalit, who had been held by Hamas terrorists for five years (2006-2011), Israel exchanged1,027 Palestinians in a prisoner exchange for Shalit. Life is truly sacred to the Jewish people.

This week, I had the opportunity to meet and hear from members of Israel Air Force’s Elite Search and Rescue, Unit 669, at Magen David Synagogue in Rockville, Maryland. There I was reminded of the brave Israeli soldiers who not only defend the holy land and people of Israel, but also who are there to search for missing soldiers and rescue them and civilians “regardless of location or conditions” when faced with war, terrorism, or other disaster. Soldiers from unit 669 go into every possible dangerous situation, and under fire, to save lives at whatever cost to themselves.
(Source Photo: Flikr)

Menachem Begin, Hero of Independence and Beyond

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Menachem Begin, Hero of Independence and Beyond.”

While David Ben-Gurion was the politically savvy founding father of the modern-day State of Israel, Menachem Begin was the military genius who brought the Jewish people from British subjugation to being a free people in our own land.

In the end, the Jewish people’s fight for freedom from oppression and for an independent homeland, even the willingness to accept a partitioned land along with the desire for peace, required both the political fight that Ben-Gurion brought to the world’s governments as well as the military struggle that Begin was expert at against both the British overlords who refused autonomy under the mandate and to the Arabs who refused partition. Further, this underscores the stark contrast between the Jewish struggle and that of the Palestinians who have incessantly rejected negotiation and any opportunities for autonomy and peace, including at Oslo, Camp David, and Taba, as well as after Israel’s full withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 that was followed by Hamas’s terror tunnels, kidnappings, incendiary balloons attacks, and rocket barrages on Israel civilian population centers.

(Credit Photo: Israel Government)

Where Have All The Heroes Gone?

Art imitates life. 

When we had heroes in the real world there were also superheroes on television, movies, video games, toys, and more. 

But alas leadership in our times has seriously fallen short.

Who is there to really look up to as a model for us to respect and follow? 

It seems like everywhere these days we are confronted by: 

– Failing leadership 

– Poor decision-making

– Party politics

– Obstructionism

– Finger-pointing

– Fraud, waste, and abuse

– Bullying and sexual harassment

– Bribery and kleptocracy

– Big time narcissism 

There are few if any heroes these days!

It’s sad for us as well as for our children.

I hope we see Batman and Superman and other superheroes again: strong in the physical sense but primarily a symbol for strength of character/integrity and for the fight of good over evil in this world. 

The void is painful for our times and is going to impact our near term future as well.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)