While almost everyone performs acts of kindness, some people only help others when coerced to do so. They assist someone only when he approaches them a few times and it is difficult to keep refusing. They do not do the act of kindness willingly and with a positive attitude.
We need to develop an actual love for helping others. There is a major difference between doing something only because you feel forced to do so, and doing something because you love to. Only when you love to do good, will you do it properly.
" Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the seed of Israel." Numbers 23:10
The sun sets above the hills. The siren cries out and on the busy highways that wend among the hills, the traffic stops, the people stop, and a moment of silence comes to a noisy country.
Flags fly at half mast, the torch of remembrance is lit, memorial candles are held in shaking hands and the country's own version of the Flanders Field poppy, the Red Everlasting daisy, dubbed Blood of the Maccabees, adorns lapels. And so begins the Yom Hazikaron, Heroes Remembrance Day, the day of remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of Arab and Muslim terror-- Israel's Memorial Day.
What is a memorial day in a country that has always known war and where remembrance means adding the toll of one year's dead and wounded to the scales of history.
A country where war never ends, where the sirens may pause but never stop, where each generation grows up knowing that they will have to fight or flee. To stand watch or run away.
It is not so much the past that is remembered on this day, but the present and the future. The stillness, a breath in the warm air, before setting out to climb the slopes of tomorrow.
Who can count the dust of Jacob? And yet each memorial day we count the dust. Each name is one among many who have fallen defending the land for thousands of years. Flesh wears out, blood falls to the earth where the red daisies grow, and bone turns to dust. The dust blows across the graves of soldiers and prophets, the tombs of priests hidden behind brush, the caverns where forefathers rest in sacred silence, laid to rest by their sons, who were laid to rest by their own sons, generations burying the past, standing guard over it, being driven away and returning each time for memory's sake.
On Memorial Day, the hands of memory are dipped in the dust raising it to the blue sky. A prayer, a whisper, a dream of peace. And the wind blows the candles out. War follows. And once again blood flows into the dust. A young lieutenant shading his eyes against the sun. An old man resting with his family on the beach. Children climbing into bed in a village on a hilltop. And more bodies are laid to rest in the dust. Until dust they become.
In this land, the Maker of Stars and Dust vowed to Abraham that his children would be as many as the dust of the earth and the stars of heaven. In their darkest days, they would be as the dust. But there is mercy in the numberless count of the dust. Mercy in not being able to make a full count of the fallen and remaining ignorant of that full measure of woe. Modern technologies permit us terrible estimates. Databanks store the names of millions; digital cemeteries of ghosts. But there is no counting the dust. And when we walk the length and breadth of the land, as the Maker told Abraham to do, it the dust that supports our feet, we walk in the dust of our ancestors.
Some new countries are built to escape from the past, but there is no escaping it in these ancient hills. IDF soldiers patrol over ground once contested by empires, tread over spearheads and the wheels of chariots buried deep in the earth. The Assyrians and the Babylonians came through here in all their glory. Greek and Roman soldiers and mercenaries pitted themselves against the handful of Judeans out of the Babylonian exile. The Ottoman and the Arab raged here, and Crusader battering rams and British Enfield rifles still echo in the quiet hills.
Here in the silence of remembrance the present is always the past and the sky hangs like a thin veil fluttering against the future. The believers cast their prayers out of their mouths against the veil. The soldiers cast their lives and their hearts. And still the future flutters above, like the sky near enough to touch, but out of reach. Beneath it, the sky-blue flag, the stripe of the believer's shawls adorned with the interlocked star of the House of David.
Can these bones live, the Lord asks Ezekiel. And generations, after each slaughter, they come again, the descendants of the dead to reclaim the hills of their ancestors. Rising like the red flowers out of the soil. Like the bones out of the earth. They come up as slaves out of Egypt and out of the captivity of empires, their tongues as numberless as the earth. Here they set up kingdoms and nations. And there in shadows on the dust, a handful of men fight off a legion; swords, spears and rifles in hand they face down impossible odds. They fight and die, but they go on.
The calendar itself is a memorial. Israel's Memorial Day, Independence Day and Lag BaOmer; the commemoration of the original Yom Yerushalayim, the brief liberation of Jerusalem from the Romans, still covertly remembered in bonfires and bows shot into the air, all in a season that begins with Passover, the exodus that set over a million people off on a forty-year journey to return to the homeland of their forefathers.
The battles today are new, but they are also very old. The weapons are new, but the struggle is the same. Who will remain and who will be swept away. Some 3,000 years ago, Judge Jephthah and the King of Ammon were exchanging messages not too different from today's diplomatic communiques. The King of Ammon demanded land for peace and the Judge laid out Israel's case in a message that he knew the enemy would hardly trouble to read before going to war.
Take a stray path in these hills and you may find a grinning terrorist with a knife, or the young David pitting his slingshot against a lion or bear. This way the Maccabees rush ahead against the armies of a slave empire and that way a helicopter passes low overhead on the way to Gaza. Time is a fluid thing here. And what you remember; you shall find.
The soldier is not so sacred as he once was. The journalist and the judge have taken his place. The actors sneer from their theaters. The politicians gobble their free food and babble of peace. Musicians sing shrilly of flowers in gun barrels and doves everywhere. But the soldier still stands where he must. The borders have shrunk. The old victories have been exchanged for diplomatic defeats. From the old strongholds come missiles and rockets. And children hide in bomb shelters waiting for the worst to pass. This is the doing of the journalist and the judge, the politician and the actor, the lions of literature who send autographed copies of their books to imprisoned terrorists and the grandchildren of great men who hire themselves on in service to the enemy.
The man who serves is still sacred, but the temple of duty is desecrated more and more each year. Leftist academics dismiss the heroes of the past as myths or murderers. Their wives dress in black and harass soldiers at checkpoints, their children wrap their faces in Keffiyahs and throw stones at them. Draft dodging, once a black mark of shame, has become a mark of pride among the left. Some boast about how easy it is, others enlist only to then refuse to serve. They call themselves Refusniks , accepting the Soviet view of Israel as an illegitimate warmongering state, but laying claim to the name of the Zionists who fought to escape the Soviet Union.
Some are only afraid, but some are filled with hate. They have looked into a twisted mirror and drunk of the poisoned wine. They have found their Inner Cain and go now to slay their brothers with words.
How shall I curse whom G-d has not cursed, asks Balaam. But the King of Moab is determined to have his curses anyway. And today it is to the UN that they come for curses. Muslim lands boil with blood, but resolution after resolution follows damning Israel. China squats on the mountains of Tibet, Russian government thugs throw dissidents out of windows and Saudi firefighters push girls back into a burning building. And still the resolutions come like curses.
In a land built on memory, it is possible not to remember, but it is impossible to entirely forget. A war of memories comes. A war for the dust. Is this a day of remembrance or a day of shame. Were those men who fought and died for Judea and Samaria, for the Golan and Jerusalem, for every square inch of land when the armies of Muslim dictators came to push them into the sea, heroes or villains. Were Nasser, Hussein, Saddam, Arafat, Assad and the House of Saud the real heroes all along. The tiny minority of 360 million pitted against the overwhelming majority of 6 million.
History has been rewritten before. It may be rewritten again. And yet in the end, the dust prevails.
Though men may forget, the dust remembers. And the men return to it. For some four thousand years they have done it. And they shall do it again. For He who has made men of the dust and made worlds of the dust of stars does not forget. As the stars turn in whirling galaxies and the dust flies across the land, so the people return to the land. And though they forget, they remember again. For the dust is the memory of ages and the children shall always return to the dust of their ancestors.
In the cities, towns and villages-- the dead are remembered. Those who died with weapons in their hands and those who simply died. Men, women and children. Drops of blood cast to the dust, reborn as flowers on lapels. Reborn as memory.
All go to one place, said King Solomon, all that lives is of the dust, and all returns to the dust. There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his works. And so memorial day precedes the day of independence. That we rejoice in that which those who sleep in the dust have died to protect. The skyscrapers and the orchards, the sheep ranches and the highways, the schools and the synagogues.
For they who drained the swamps and built the roads, who held guard over the air and built the cities, may not have lived to see their works. But we rejoice in their works for them. And a new generation rises to watch over their dust and tend the works that they have built. Until the day when He that counts the dust of Jacob shall count them all, and the land shall stir, and in the words of Daniel, they that sleep in dust shall arise, and then rejoice with us.
----Former IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz gave a Memorial Day speech at Tel Aviv University on Holocaust day
"We will use any means to ensure that the Israeli society is based on equality, ethics and justice," he said. "We must not lose our morals or our purity of arms, even during the most difficult times. No small number of soldiers and commanders have endangered their own lives, and even injured or killed for the sake of these values. This shows the legitimacy of our path.
This is the same Mofaz who is directly responsible for the death of IDF soldier Madhat Yusuf as he bled to death defending Joseph's tomb from "Palesinian" "security personnel"(terrorists in uniform whom we acknowledged with the Oslo perfidy, and with weapons we gave them). in October 2000.
Rather then risk the "peace" with our "peace partners", Mofaz, then, chief of staff was there on the scene observing, with his field glasses as delirious Arab mobs assailed and desecrated our holy site and shot at our soldiers cowering inside.
Incredibly, Mofaz chose to put his faith in his "Palestinian: counter part as he was assured that the attacks will end and the he will sendan ambulence to help the wounded. The ambulance never arrived.
Our soldier bled to death - but the "peace process" lives!!
This is the Sodom and Gomorrah mind set that directs people like Mofaz; and our current deputy chief of staff who sees a parallel between Israel today and Nazi Germany of the 1930's...
Of course these self appointed bearers of the moral torch, were there as advocates of handing our land to our enemies at every opportunity, even , or especially, if it means the mass expulsion of our people from their homes and destroying their lives. Morality demands...
This memorial day as we remember the 24,447 soldiers who gave their lives for us in our land. This does not include the thousands killed off the classic field of battle by Arab terror. It does not include the tens of thousands crippled in body or mind or both. It does not count the thousands of families who will never be the same.
On this day, I rather not hear from our "military leaders" who have lost the moral compass and rub salt into our wounds.
Perhaps we can better understand now why Israel has not won a war since 1973. (We fought five since then; three in Gaza in 2005 that we gave to Hamas and two in Lebanon that we gave to Hizbullah in 2000)
The chief of staff during the "second Lebanon war - 2006 was , Dan Halutz. While sending men into battle he did not forget to take the time to sell his entire portfolio as he knew that war and stocks don't go well together..Smart man . Great leader. Lost war. Lots of dead soldiers.
One year before, to the day, Halutz very proudly presided over the very successful, well planned military campaign in Gaza - the one in which he expelled ten thousand Jews from their homes and handed it to Hamas..
On this memorial day as we remember our true heroes; the ones who put down their lives despite the blustering and warped moral compass of some of our generals, let us take solace in the fact that the people are indeed waking up.
No doubt ,these blowhard "leaders" realize that their shine is fading.
Servants of values not shared by the majority of Jews in Israel, the baton of leadership is slowly but surely changing hands.
May we be blessed with leaders who know the value of Jewish lives and Jewish land.
A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
A snail can sleep for three years.
Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.
Almonds are a member of the peach family.
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
Butterflies taste with their feet.
Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.
"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.
It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.
Maineis the only state whose name is just one syllable.
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.
The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.
The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.
The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).
There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
There are more chickens than people in the world.
There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."
There's no Betty Rubble in the Flintstones Chewables Vitamins.
Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself.
There, nowyou know everything!
WILLIE AND JOE
He meant so much to the millions of Americans who fought in World War II, and to those who had waited for them to come home. He was a kid cartoonist for Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper; Mauldin's drawings of his muddy, exhausted, whisker-stubble infantrymen Willie and Joe were the voice of truth about what it was like on the front lines.
Mauldin was an enlisted man, just like the soldiers for whom he drew; his gripes were their gripes, his laughs their laughs, his heartaches their heartaches. He was one of them. They loved him.
He never held back. Sometimes, when his cartoons cut too close for comfort, superior officers tried to tone him down. In one memorable incident, he enraged Gen. George S. Patton, who informed Mauldin he wanted the pointed cartoons celebrating the fighting men, lampooning the high-ranking officers to stop. Now!
The news passed from soldier to soldier. How was Sgt. Bill Mauldin going to stand up to Gen. Patton? It seemed impossible.
Not quite. Mauldin, it turned out, had an ardent fan: Five-star Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, SCAFE, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe . Ike put out the word: "Mauldin draws what Mauldin wants." Mauldin won. Patton lost.
Not quite. Mauldin, it turned out, had an ardent fan: Five-star Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, SCAFE, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe . Ike put out the word: "Mauldin draws what Mauldin wants." Mauldin won. Patton lost. He won the Pulitzer Prize & was on the cover of Time magazine. His book "Up Front" was the No. 1 best-seller in the United States
What a story, and a fitting tribute to a man and to a time that few of us can still remember. But I say to you youngsters, you must most seriously learn of, and remember with respect, the sufferings and sacrifices of your fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers in times you cannot ever imagine today with all you have. But the only reason you are free to have it all is because of them!
I thought you would all enjoy reading and seeing this bit of American history.
In God We Trust. All of that at 23. Yet, when he returned to civilian life and grew older, he never lost that boyish Mauldin grin, never outgrew his excitement about doing his job, never big-shotted or high-hatted the people with whom he worked every day.