Monday, November 5, 2007

Yitzhak Rabin

"We are embarking today on a war in which there are no fallen and injured, and not blood nor suffer. And it is the only war in which it is a pleasure to participate - the war for peace." - Yitzahk Rabin (Upon signing the Oslo Peace Accords)

These words were spoken by, in my opinion, one of Israel's greatest heroes. Of course there are many heroes throughout Israel's history, but Yitzhak Rabin will always be known for his work towards peace, something which seems to be in short supply around the world these days. I truly feel that if Rabin had not been assassinated on November 4th, 1995 the world would be a very different place. It is because he truly believed that the time for fighting with Israel's neighbors was through. The what ifs are endless, but I believe that only good could come from having such a great man alive.

Why this post about Yitzahk Rabin? On Saturday evening I attended the Memorial Ceremony for Yitzahk Rabin on Rabin Square. I was joined by over 150,000 Israelis from all over the country. Kibbutzim bussed in their youth and old alike. It was my reason for being in Tel-Aviv this past weekend and honestly I'm very glad I decided to go and my friends were equally glad I dragged them.

The ceremony was all in Hebrew, and my friends (all Ulpan students) were lost. I followed the spirit of each speech if not word for word. The music was truly inspiring to me. The songs were also all in Hebrew and I even found myself singing along to many of them. It finally culminated with a singing of Hatikvah. By the end of the song I was in tears. Its hard to believe I spend more than two weeks here without hearing it.

Hatikvah is literally translated as "The Hope." It is a song that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I sang it even before I knew its meaning. I sang it even before I knew or understood the American National Anthem. It was written as a hope for the rebirth of Israel. Today I sing it as a hope for the rebirth of Israel in a region of peace. This was The Hope of Yitzahk Rabin. התקוה של יצחק רבין

Just remember The Hope...

כל עוד בלבב פנימה
נפש יהודי הומיה,
ולפאתי מזרח קדימה,
עין לציון צופיה,
Kol od baleivav p'nimah
Nefesh y'hudi homiyah
Ulfa'atei mizrach kadimah
Ayin l'tziyon tzofiyah
As long as in the heart, within,
A Jewish soul is yearning,
And to the edges of the East, forward,
An eye watches towards Zion,
עוד לא אבדה תקוותנו,
התקווה בת שנות אלפים,
להיות עם חופשי בארצנו,
ארץ ציון וירושלים.
Od lo avdah tikvateinu
Hatikvah bat sh'not alpayim
Lihyot am chofshi b'artzeinu
Eretz tziyon viyrushalayim
Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our own land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.


John Sklar said...

I wish I could have been there with you. It sounds incredible, actually, you are incredible.

Phyllis Sommer said...

i'm so glad you were there on this historic day!