This is a guest post by Roni Levin, St. Paul shlicha (Israeli emissary to St. Paul on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul). This article was originally given as a speech before the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul at the Federation’s annual gala Sunday night.
As a Shlicha (emissary) I deal with many questions about Israel, its future, its leaders and its citizens.
Questions that in the U.S. are not always easy to answer. But we as Israelis have one answer which we always use, a very common phrase.
Those of you who have visited Israel are probably familiar with the term and heard it many times (especially from taxi drivers).
This phrase represents Israeli optimism, the Israeli way of life –
יהיה בסדר it will be all right / it will be fine
יהיה בסדר It will be all right is a statement often seen as amateur and unprofessional, and is not accepted in any way at the Federation offices here in St. Paul.
But this is the same statement that helps us to look forward and appreciate the good in every situation in which we find ourselves.
יהיה בסדר It will be all right is what made my parents leave the center of Israel to go up north and establish my hometown thirty years ago. It became their home and was where they raised my brothers and me.
יהיה בסדר Our wish that everything would be all right led my father, my older brother, myself, and currently my younger brother through the halls of the officers’ academy to play a significant and important role in service,
To protect the State of Israel.
It’s not that we do not have problems, the gap between the Jewish secular and some ultra-orthodox religious streams is increasing. The economic crisis has not passed over Israel, the cost of living and economic burden are standing on the shoulders of the middle class and young couples trying to build a Jewish home in Israel. And of course, the possibility of attack is an existing threat, one that is on our minds but does not break our spirits.
The past month when I visited Israel, I met my family and friends, young couples who work hard, are on military reserve and raise children. When I asked them how everything would turn out – everyone said יהיה בסדר it would be all right.
For Israelis there is no other option. It is clear to us that our fate is tied to the fate of Israel. The fates of us here is tied to the fate of Israel.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the St Paul community, which opened its doors and gave me a warm hug. To be here today is a great honor and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
The last visit home I took with me the prayer for Israel, the same prayer that I read at various events here in the community. And I was looking for my favorite place in Israel. Some might say theirs is Jerusalem and the Western Wall, or Tel Aviv and its beautiful beaches, or the Galilee and the Kinneret. But I took the prayer to a small hill in my home town. I know this is not the highest mountain and that it has no hidden springs, but from my little hill you can see the slopes of Mount Carmel, the Haifa Bay and the hills of Galilee standing proudly and it is from there I want to read the prayer to you today.
And let us say Amen.
May we all have a good year Shanna tova and do not worry יהיה בסדר
(Photo: cycling man)