by Robert J. Avrech
As far as I know, there are only two countries in the world that were founded on the idea of hope.
America and Israel.
And what was the hope?
The hope of achieving religious freedom, and freedom from the tyranny of centralized government.
The Children of Israel, fleeing Egyptian slavery and religious persecution, settled the land of Israel over 3,000 years ago, thereby fulfilling G-d’s eternal covenant with the Jewish people.
The Pilgrims saw themselves as the children of the children of Israel, escaping a British Pharaoh and crossing a liquid desert.
In fact, so complete was the Pilgrim identification with the Jewish narrative that they seriously considered making Hebrew the national language.
Israel and America are religious and national twins.
America without Judeo-Christianity at its core would be a European Democratic-Socialist state.
And Israel without Judaism would be bagels and cream cheese, pita and hummus.
At Casa Avrech, when we gather for our Thanksgiving meal, we go round the table, each of us listing our reasons for being thankful.
The kids laugh because I always say the same thing:
“I’m grateful that Karen married me.”
Well, I’m still grateful that Karen married me. I’m grateful that our daughters are lovely and generous young women. I’m grateful that our sons-in-law are kind and loving husbands. I’m grateful that our five grandchildren, Maayan Ariel, Lielle Meital, Livia Yarden, Ariel Chaim, and Pinchas Tzvi are bright and happy children.
I’m grateful that the memories of our twenty-two years with our late son Ariel zt”l are filled with joy and pride in his piety, modesty and goodness.
I’m grateful that America makes this wonderful life possible.
I’m grateful that Donald Trump is President-elect. So far, his cabinet picks and appointments are impressive and reassuring. And the Supreme Court will be saved from the radical leftists Hillary would have appointed. My friends and relatives in Israel are breathing a huge sigh of relief. They dreaded a continuation of Obama’s anti-Israel policies.
The left told us that Barack Obama’s election was historic. They told us that Hillary’s election would also be historic. But Donald Trump’s election is historic too. Mr. Trump is America’s first President who is a businessman, a political outsider, a man without a law degree. He is also the first President with Orthodox Jews in his closest circle, his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. Federal lawsuits against Nuns, bakeries, photographers, and pizza shops will cease. Religious freedom will return to the American grain.
Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.