Photo: Gil Yohanan
Former Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin
Photo: Gil Yohanan

A letter to Reuven the child

Op-ed: Remember the first time you saw Israel's flag raised to the top of the pole? Our excitement never ceased.

Dear Rubi the child,


I'm writing to you from Israel of 2014 to your Israel – the Israel of the early days.


Remember the day our neighbors, Paula and David Ben-Gurion, received the first car manufactured in Israel, the Kaiser-Frazer? We thought it was the height of Israeli achievement back then; today we know it was only the beginning.



You swore you would go to law school in order to prosecute those who drowned the Altalena ship.


While you did indeed study law since then, you also matured enough to understand that the most important lesson is to be found in Menahem Begin's declaration: "Civil war – Never!", which he shouted while standing on the deck of the ship. This call, that remains relevant from 1947 until today, accompanies us always.


Related stories:


You felt the envy of the new immigrants: the Sabars. Remember how the teachers in high school would sound the praise of the "melting pot" in your ears? Well, you should know that that same naïve aspiration for a society that speaks in a unified voice was not fulfilled, and that is actually a good thing.


The truth is, we've never been and never will be united in our views. Today, I know that our differences, difficult and poignant as they may be, are not the sign of a malignant disease, but rather serve as evidence of a maturing society.


For you, the distance between 'Café Kasit' in Tel Aviv and café 'Exodus' in Yeruham seemed like an eternity. Meanwhile, highways have been paved here, train tracks laid, and even IDF bases are on their way to the Negev, bringing the center and periphery closer. However, the truth is that the distance between Tel Aviv and Yeruham, and surely that between Herzliya and Rahat, is still too wide.


The economic differences and the opportunity gaps within our society indicate that the Zionist dream is far from being realized.


Today, as then, a solid concept of partnership and mutual responsibility should be our guiding spirit.


Remember when you thought that Gabardine pants were the hottest fashion trend? Well, I just want you to know that although we all enjoy nostalgia, when I look at pictures of you today, you actually look a bit ridiculous.


Oh, how you wished that Beitar Jerusalem F.C. would make it to the National League. Back then, Beitar was a family; a team with values and ideals, and without winnings as well. Since then it has won plenty of games, but lost quite of few of its ideals, due to, among other reasons, "a different family" (a group of extreme fans called 'La Familia').


You say that when you were a boy, you were surrounded by idealists who went out to the streets and squares with a spark in their eyes, either to protest, or to celebrate. If you feared that this trait has faded away, you would be excited to see the people of Israel reawaken, their eyes shining bright once again.


Its true there are still many things to fix, but today, I rest assured that there's someone who can do the job.


Remember the first time you saw Israel's flag raised to the top of the pole? You were nine-years-old at the time. Perhaps our children and grandchildren take that sight for granted, but that might not be a bad thing. Our excitement, at any case, never ceased. Not at the age of nine, nor at 74.


Every time the flag is raised to the top of the flagpole, I still choke up just like you did when you celebrated Israel's first Independence Day.


פרסום ראשון: 05.06.14, 00:01
 new comment
This will delete your current comment