Bnei Akiva, Israel, youth group

The Promise of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


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Yes, I’m a broken record. Every year now, for the last three years, I’ve kveled during the Chodesh Irgun ceremonies for B’nei Akiva. For those of you who don’t speak Israeli youth language, this is the month right after the holidays when our kids (from 4th grade and up) start their youth group activities for the year. The B’nei Akiva youth group is very active in our Yishuv (you can see my post from Yom Ha’atmaut last year for more explanations about B’nei Akiva) and we have loved watching Matan participate.

During this month, they spend almost every night out getting their club room painted and ready, doing Zionistic programs together and hanging out. Then, the Shabbat arrives when they introduce us to their finished and painted rooms, have a Kiddush for the entire Yishuv and then have a ceremony in the evening after Shabbat. That’s happening right now (Josh is documenting it for us while I stay with the sleeping kids).

This year Yehuda has finally gotten to join the ranks of the initiated and we are so proud to watch him finally be part of the fun. He’s been watching Matan for two years now and waiting for his opportunity – and here it is.

I get teary-eyed watching my kids fulfilling this Zionist dream and connecting to the thousands of years of Jewish heritage behind them. They are wearing these shirts of a youth group that kids wore in Warsaw before the Holocaust; that they wore in Russia, hoping that someday they would make it to the Promised Land.

They are wearing shirts of the miracle that is the State of Israel; a miracle that my own grandparents couldn’t have imagined seeing come to fruition…a miracle that my children are living out each and every day on the soil that was promised to them and on the soil upon which they are building the Jewish future.

I don’t know that my kids see quite so much symbolism in their activities or in their new shirts. To them it’s just a chance to be part of the gang…to hang out with their friends and to have fun.

But to us? Oh to us, it’s so very much more.

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