As a Jewish school, we are part of a Jewish community that is tight-knit and bountiful. We are blessed to live in Aventura, an area so abundant with Jews. For instance, in Aventura alone, there are over ten synagogues. Step outside on a Friday night or Saturday morning and you will find the sidewalks flooded with Jews returning from a synagogue. Even at school, we learn about our culture and religion every day. Traditions and customs in the Jewish religion show how supportive Jews are of one another. For example, when someone passes away, Jews from the community visit family members during their mourning over a period of seven days called the Shiva. Additionally, it is a tradition for close family members or friends at a Jewish wedding to give blessings to the couple. Although here in Miami, we are prosperous in Jews, we are a small minority that faces anti-Semitism in a majority of countries around the world. In countries where the Jews are mainly vacant, practicing the religion is made impossible. Besides, the small percentage of synagogues that are practicing Judaism is often considered to be dangerous in these countries. Anti-Semitism is a colossal global issue that puts Jews at risk for simply practicing their religion every day.
As a Jew, being disconnected from the culture and religion is as though a large part of your identity is missing. Jewish culture is deep-rooted and intertwined in the history of many religions, and there have been many large struggles that Jews have had to endure. Learning about Jewish roots and unique family journeys teaches people where they came from and helps them better understand who they are. Moreover, practicing religion and being able to study the Torah, even as a young child at a Jewish school, has given Jews a different view of the world and life in general. Jews have a specific set of values and values teach Jews to live in the present moment, do good deeds, and show kindness. Therefore, Israel exemplifies Tikkun Olam, defined as acts of kindness performed to perfect and repair the world. Consequently, Israel is often helping other countries, treating patients from around the globe, and creating innovations.
Israel is a small country, slightly larger than New Jersey. The United States is 300 million times larger than Israel, yet Israel has the largest population of Jews in the world. As the Holy Land, Israel is said to be the safest and most supportive place a Jew could be. In addition, Israel is home to many important figures in Judaism, such as the Western Wall. The Western Wall is significant to the Jewish faith as it is the holiest place for Jews to pray. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is the holiest city in Judaism and the home of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE. In classical antiquity, Jerusalem is considered the place where Gd resides. Every Jew should visit Israel and have a chance to be the closest they can be to Gd at least once in their lifetime. Lastly, a Jew will never feel better understood or taken care of than they will in Israel. In fact, the Talmud explains that all of the people in Israel are responsible for each other, and this idea is cherished as highly as a law.
Israel is a country full of Jewish culture and religion which makes it the perfect place for Jews to experience their traditions and learn about their history. Overall, Israel has become a safe haven for Jews suffering from anti-semitism around the globe, somewhere to find a caring community, and a place to connect to Gd on a deeper level.