We have successfully survived our lone Seder and the week of Passover, mourned our fallen soldiers and civilians despite IDF cemeteries being closed to the public and celebrated Yom Ha’Atzmaut in a virtual manner… writes Michael Kuttner.

Now as coronavirus infections decrease the country is very slowly awakening and cautiously emerging from quarantine and isolation. It will still take some time to get back to a totally normal routine but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

WORLD ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAY 

The resurrection of Hebrew as a living dynamic language is one of the miracles of modern Israel. It is a challenge to adapt modern words to an ancient tongue and inevitably certain English expressions find their way into everyday speech.

Listen to the results:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evKi9DeMLsY

AN ONLY IN ISRAEL EXPERIENCE 

Living in Israel one soon realizes that the whole country is really one big family. Like any family there are disagreements, disputes, broigus occasions and also plenty of nachat times. This sense of extended family is most evident when young men and women doing their compulsory military service come home for Shabbat, Chagim and on leave.

This beautiful video captures the moment these IDF soldiers arrived home for Yom Ha’Atzmaut and surprised their families with an unexpected day of leave. It encapsulates everything about what Israel really represents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaF3mEOhWCg

IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED TO PROTECT US 

Yom Hazikaron, the day Israel comes to a stop in order to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice so that we can live in freedom is commemorated in many unique ways. No other country has had to defend itself for so long in order that its citizens can live in safety.

Since 1948 there have been over 23,000 fallen soldiers and civilians as Israel has faced continuous threats to its existence and non stop terror. This heavy sacrifice makes Memorial Day a special time and one which is not replicated in any other country.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzRmb6IARZs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51QPnEhtoLs

A VIRTUAL TOUR 

There are no tourists at present but you can take a virtual tour of the City of David with your own personal guide. Sit back and enjoy this unique tour of one of the Capital’s ancient sites where Jews lived and which shatters the lies of those who today claim we were never there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhtInzGcGJo

A MUSICAL TRIBUTE 

Listen as cantors from all over the world unite in a unique tribute to Israel as they sing the prayer for the State which is recited in Synagogues every Shabbat and Festival.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_EvEuFZczc

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel. 

[This article was originally published on J-Wire and is reproduced here with permission from Michael Kuttner.]