Amalya Lehmann, Sixth-grader at Beth Tfiloh Community Day School in Baltimore, Maryland
The Courageous Spirit of Israel
Israel shows courage in many quiet ways. The members of Kibbutz Eilon are quiet heroes. Kibbutz Eilon is located in the Western Galil, tucked next to the Lebanese border. The terrorist group Hezbollah could attack Kibbutz Eilon any day. Nevertheless, the kibbutz runs a program called Keshet Eilon, which is an international violin master course under the patronage of maestro Shlomo Mintz and an internationally distinguished faculty. Young aspiring violinists come from all over the world to attend the program. They perform for each other and get constructive criticism from the faculty. I visited there this past December, because, as a violinist myself, I am interested in the program. I was very touched to learn that, with all the terror attacks, no one from outside the country canceled their trip coming to Israel. And even with war in the air, they are continuing to plan for this summer.
"Keshet" can mean three separate things. It can mean the bow of a violin or the bow in archery. But it can also mean the rainbow of peace of God's promise to Noah. The program at Keshet Eilon tries to further the cause of peace in the world. There is a quote: "When the cannons blast, the muses are silent." But in Israel, this does not happen. The music goes on and on; it doesn't stop.
MIA DEROIN, Sixth-grader at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago, Illinois
Israel’s Courageous Spirit
I say Israel is what courage is all about. Israel is filled with people who are courageous. The bus drivers are courageous because they have to live with the thought that maybe tomorrow they might not return home from work. The rescue workers are also courageous because they work every day to help people under horrible conditions. The soldiers are courageous in as many ways as are possible. They fight every day from their heart for Israel, knowing that they could be harmed. The teachers in Israel are courageous because they have to teach heartbreaking events to their students.
SARAH SOKOLOW, Fourth-grader at Hebrew Day Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland
The Spirit of the People of Israel
In the last two years, many people have been killed or wounded by terrorists. Everyone is afraid, but they still keep going to work and school. They still celebrate Shabbat and try to enjoy life. The violence has scared away most tourists, so the economy is bad. Many countries have criticized Israel for defending itself, but I am proud of the brave Israeli soldiers and citizens. I am also proud of the medical people who have helped everyone, even injured Palestinians. I remember that when I visited Israel two years ago, I felt safe and at home.
AYELET D. PEARL, Fifth-grader at The Brandeis School in Lawrence, New York, and at Temple Sholom in Floral Park, New York
Standing in Israel
It’s not just standing with Israel, it’s standing in Israel. It’s showing the citizens of Israel—showing the Israeli people—that we care, not just by sitting at home and saying to yourself, “I’m for Israel, but I won’t go because I’m scared.” It’s standing in Israel that really counts—being with the people—which is exactly what I, my brother Eitan, and my father did last year.