[cross-posted from My Urban Kvetch]
Think of Israel. Think of shwarma and hummus and felafel, of course, but also of Krembos and Bamba and Shoko BaSakit, the iconic gastronomical emblems of the state. Think of Balashon and Zabaj, and forays into Israeli culture and language. Think of soldiers who defend, who wear olive to match their skin, whose teeth gleam with pride and mischief; think of those who fall wounded and perish, and those who return, cracked beneath the surface.
Think of Herodian stone, of walls gripping notes bearing the desperate hopes of thousands. Think of wineries and museums, of streets and neighborhoods named after matriarchs, patriarchs, battles, army units and kings of eras long since past. Think of the Oman and the Underground, of the amateurs singing and playing instruments on Ben Yehuda Street. Think of the midrehov and the tayelet, the German Colony and the Russian Compound, the beach and the Bahai, the Christians, the Muslims and the Jews.
Think of Herzl, of Ben Gurion, and of all of our relatives who had a hand in building the Jewish State. Think of the history of the ages, the passion of the pioneers, and the politics of the present. Think of advances in technology and medicine, culture and scholarship. Think of the old and the new, of the past and the potential. Today, on Yom Ha’atzmaut, think of Israel.