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Thoughts onto paper – Yom Ha’atzmaut 76 Binyamin Radomsky CPA | Partner Israeli tax dept

I’m not a big writer. Certainly not of personal feelings.  Yes, i cried when each of my children was born, and when they reached various milestones, but in general, my feelings are kept inside. Three times in the past though i have felt the need to put down some thoughts into words. The first was when a young mother, whom i had the pleasure of knowing (as the sister of a good friend from University days) passed away at the age of 27 after a very sudden illness, leaving behind a husband and three young children. The second time was about a year ago, following the murder of 3 of the Dee family of Efrat; the family situation being eerily similar to my own personal circumstances.

And the third time was 10 days into the current war, that has now reached the 7 month mark. In those remarks, I was able to see that – despite the horrific events that we had seen a week earlier – the hand of HKB”H was clearly in place, as our enemies would clearly have expected to have killed a lot more than they managed to do.

I was asked to put some more thoughts onto paper ahead of the upcoming Yom Ha’atzmaut next week. We will be marking 76 years of Independence of the Modern State of Israel, a day after Yom HaZikaron, which will be particularly raw for the entire country this year.

I’m taken back to the well-known piyut of Dayenu that we say on Seder Night each year. The poem lists various stages of our Exodus from Egypt, and after each stage, we say Dayenu – “it would have been enough”. Commentators across the ages note that this cannot be taken literally; there’d be no point in taking the People, for example, through  Yam Suf, only to leave them to be in the dessert. Rather, the concept of Dayenu is that, for each and every small mercy given to the people, even if the situation could still be made better later, would be sufficient reason to thank HKB”H for all of the goodness bestowed upon us to date.

The last 7 months have been difficult, for sure. There are still hostages, many soldiers have sacrificed their lives, and many more have lost limbs or suffered other injuries. And that’s before considering the effects on the families, businesses and other aspects of life that have changed, and will continue to change, forever.

And yet, there is ample to thank HKB”H for. Occasionally, we are gifted a glimpse into the workings of Above.

The Gemara in Bava Batra discusses who authored each of the books of Tanach. We’re told that Moshe wrote down “his book and the story of Bilam”, referring to most of the story of Parshat Balak. I like to point out to my children each year that, when the Torah was given to the People as they encamped near the Jordan River ahead of their crossing into Canaan, they would have read the Torah, nodding along with most of the content – and then suddenly getting to this story. “Really, didn’t know anything about that! Amazing how HKB”H saves us without us even knowing about the threat!”.

We clearly saw the “hand” of HKB”H during the night of 6 Nissan, when the Iranians sent deadly weapons, with just one injury. However much we want to thank the Iron Dome and similar systems that helped to down the attack, as well as our allies from across the world, there’s still no denying that the fact that virtually no damage was done was a clear divine miracle.

And some of the stories that have come out from the soldiers embedded in Gaza have been nothing more than miraculous.  And for each and every one, we must thank HKB”H. Needless to say, it’s not just Divine Intervention. We are given a mandate to do our best, each according to their own strengths, and pray that the Divine plan aligns with our own.

As we enter Israel’s 77th year (עז in Gematria), i think of two quotes to help with focusing our gratitude and prayers this Yom Ha’Atzmaut:

The first: Pirkei Avot 5:23
יהודה בן תימא אומר:
“הוי עז כנמר, וקל כנשר, רץ כצבי, וגבור כארי – לעשות רצון אביך שבשמים 

And the second: Tehillim 29:11
ה’ עז לעמו יתן, ה’ יברך את עמו בשלום” 

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