"Where did Avraham almost sacrifice his son Yitzchok? Where did Dovid Hamelech fight Goliath? Where did Yaakov dream of the angels going up and down the ladder? Where did Lotes wife turn into a pillar of salt? Where was Moshe Rabenu leading the children of Israel to, the place they called the land of milk and honey?" Israel. Israel is much more than a tiny piece of land in the Middle East. Its living proof that the Jewish people have survived, against all odds, and will continue to survive and increase. Israeli citizens live in a constant state of the unknown. They don't know when or where the next terrorist attack will occur. They don't know which countries, Arab and other, will turn against them in the court of world opinion. But they do know that they will continue to live their lives with some aspect of normality. They do know that, unlike many of their Palestinian counterparts, they will continue to cherish life. They are an inspiration to me.
Many of the world's most advanced technology and health care originated in Israel. For a country the size of New Jersey, this is nothing but remarkable. Israel is always going to be in my heart. I speak of Israel at least three times a day in my Shimona Esrei. I think of Israel constantly. I think of her when I check my emails daily for updates. I think of Israel at bedtime. I think of Israel when I look at the walls of my home, covered with the creations of Israeli artists. I cannot remove Israel from my being and will never forget you. We are one. When all else in the world seems dark and hopeless, Israel is my place of hope, and will always be there.