Every time I assess the situation in this wonderful country, I see more problems than ever. I thank G-d every day for living here, and yet the tragic situations around me could be kind of depressing. Often they are.
** Only today, the PA says it's going forward with an PA airport in Area C, mind you. And you know what? They'll get it too. Because just like when they build and plow without asking questions, without stopping when they're told to, they'll just build this and go forward. To blazes with everyone else. They're very focused on the prize.
** Just today, a bank, holding the credit of communities in Judea and Samaria, has cut off that credit and told Jewish towns to close their accounts. Read here: major crisis to come, chas v'shalom.
** The price of water is going up. Didn't it just go up? How can bankrupting us help the water situation? I feel like an Englishman during the time of the wicked Prince John, being taxed into penury, chas v'shalom. (Robin Hood, where are you?)
** The Building Freeze Edict is still on, and Israeli security forces are accused of using excessive violence against those who love the land and want to keep building. Very scary.
** And the worst thing is that the social fabric of our society is unraveling. There's a horrifying story on Professor Gil Troy's blog, http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/troy/entry/galilee_rape_nightmare_tests_us. Everyone should read it, and cry out in shame. It used to be that Israel only had to "worry about" Arab attacks. Now there are mafia-style killings, thievery, murder (from young aged hoods too), drugs, prostitution, alcoholism, and sexual offenses of every kind, corruption on every level of life here, etc. etc. The shocking story of the 17 year old in the blog cited above reminds me of the story of the girl tortured in Sodom, in the time of Lot. And we know what happened next? PSHUBOOM!!
But the story above didn't happen in Sodom, it happened in Israel TODAY!! And we wonder why we're in trouble.
So the question is, "What can I/you, a regular person, do? How can I/you make things better."
I'm really asking the question, because I don't have any brilliant answers.
We are in deep trouble politically, economically, socially, religiously, security-ily, and every other -ly.
Where can we begin in order to make things better? The obvious answer is in our homes, then in our little towns, then in our region. Can we ever pass that level and help the nation, heal the nation, benefit the nation? Maybe if every town from north to south improves itself, that will affect the country as a whole.
I don't know. And I hope you'll tell me.
There are superb chesed (loving kindness) organizations to feed the poor, give guidance to the childless, work with teens at risk, big-brother the orphan, counsel single-mothers, find jobs for Gush Katif unemployed and all unemployed, make weddings for needy brides, etc. Volunteering for one of these will definitely help bandage some social wounds. Will it save the country?
But beginning to do things for others, caring about other people, and teaching our children to do the same is a start. Chanukah is long over, but it would be good for our nation to follow in the path of Yehuda HaMaccabee. The first thing he did after the Chashmonaim came to power (in addition to continue the battles to free Israel) was to institute frameworks of CARING for the JEWISH PEOPLE. Can you believe that our ingrained characteristic of chesed was lost from the Jewish People? We had become so Hellenized as a nation that we forgot to care and protect and reach out to and for one another. This communal responsibility united the people, raised them up and began the healing process.
Learning to NOT be selfish - me first, me second, me me me - will begin having an impact on society. A small one at first, but if we get everyone in on the program, one day real differences will be felt.
Will it lower water prices? Will it keep Ahmadinejad from pushing the red button? Will it put a halt to a PA airport? Maybe not right now, but uniting a nation, teaching our brethren to think of one another as brethren can only bring joy to the eyes of Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father Our King) and then there is no limit to the ways that Hashem would help us and protect us.
About the inhuman torture inflicted on this 17 year old (in the blog above), I personally think all those who hurt him should be punished in the most severe way. All those who let this happen should be punished in the most severe way. And the nation (us) and the State (government) should reach out to this family and somehow try to help heal its wounds. Somehow we have to help this boy. And I sincerely am asking for your suggestions. May Hashem have mercy on this boy and on our nation, and heal all of us.