Road Show, Israel Style- Daniel Gordis

Daniel Gordis released another dispatch that is worth reading. Take a look at these selections.

“Sometimes, a simple drive on a highway in the Jewish State is all is takes to restore perspective, to revive hope. A road, its exits, the places to which they lead and the history they recall – and you suddenly find yourself with faith in the future restored. If only all of us could take those drives. For especially light of these past months of grief and of disappointment, of coming to terms with the war that we lost (as a senior IDF general admitted publicly yesterday), what we need is perspective, a reminder of where the Jewish people was just decades ago, and how far we’ve come.”


“And then, one day in the middle of the war, I was driving the Jerusalem – Tel Aviv highway. This time, staring aimlessly out the windshield, I found myself looking at the metal remains scattered alongside the road. I drive the road so often that I hardly ever notice them anymore, but this time, I did. Immobile, but carefully painted so as to preserve them, lay the shells of the trucks that were destroyed as Jews tried to break the Jordanian siege on Jerusalem in 1948. The carcasses of these trucks were a reminder, a source of perspective. If you had told someone in 1948, when Jews in Jerusalem were besieged and out of food, water and medicine that we’d be OK, you’d have sounded like a dreamer. You’ve have had nothing on which to base your confidence. Except, perhaps, for perspective, and for the knowledge that in the end, the Jews have always figured out how to survive. That there is something about our people that defies explanation, but which is real, no less real than any of the challenges we face.

The highway is a reminder of that. The road from Tel Aviv to the capital road still snakes its way up through the hills to Jerusalem. And Israel is still surrounded by enemies. But the difference? Jerusalem is rebuilt, and thriving. And the main problem that we have on that road now is the traffic. Sixty years after the siege, our problem is too many Jews in Jerusalem. Jerusalem overflowing with Jews, living in and visiting the Jewish State. It’s a good problem to have. And not one that we thought we’d have back in 1945.

Further on down the road, I pass the exit for Latrun, the site of devastating battles in the War of Independence, the same Latrun that Ariel Sharon tried to conquer when he was a young commander. But he failed. His troops literally dying of thirst in the sun-scorched battlefield because they didn’t even have canteens, Sharon had to withdraw. And today? There’s a tank museum there. And at the amphitheater there, Israeli soldiers are inducted into their army units in ceremonies overflowing with pride and with confidence, a reality wholly other than what witnesses of Sharon’s battle would have believed the future would hold. “

Perspective- think about it.

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