by Eva,  International Wall of Prayer
May 15, 1948, the day after Israel's rebirth, the surrounding nations declared war against her.  It was at that time when former Prime Minister Menachem Begin addressed the nation with the following radio speech:

"And you, brothers of our fighting  family, do you remember how we started?  With what we started?

"You were alone and persecuted, rejected, despised, and numbered with the transgressors, but you fought on with deep faith and did not retreat.  You
were tortured, but did not surrender.  You were cast into prison, but you did not yield.  You were exiled from your country, but your spirit was not crushed. You were driven to the gallows, but went forth with a song.

"You have written a glorious page in history... You will not recall past grievances; you will ask for no reward.  But for the time being, let us think of the battle; for only the outcome of the battle will decide our fate and future.

"We shall go on our way into battle, soldiers of the L-RD of Hosts, inspired by the spirits of our ancient heroes,  from the conquerors of Canaan to the
rebels of Judah.

"We shall be accompanied by the spirit of those who revived our Nation:  Zev Benjamin Herzl, Max Nordau, Joseph Trumpeldor, and the father of
resurrected Hebrew heroism, Zev Jabotinsky.

"We shall be accompanied by the spirit of David Raziel, greatest of Hebrew commanders of our day, and by Dov Gruner, one of the greatest Hebrew soldiers.

"We shall be accompanied into battle by the spirit of the heroes of the gallows, the conquerors of death.

"And we shall be accompanied by the spirit of millions of our martyrs, our fathers and butchered mothers, our murdered brothers, and strangled children.  And in this battle, we shall break the enemy and bring salvation to our people, tried in the furnace of persecution, thirsting only for freedom, for righteousness, and for justice.

"Oh G-D of Israel, guard your soldiers and bless their swords, which are forging anew the Covenant You made with Your Chosen People, and Your Promised Land."

In summary of Mr. Begin's speech,  Israel has had to fight for her right to exist as a nation from the very beginning of time.  Above all nations,  she knows only too well that freedom obtained is never a free commodity. May she continue to place her complete trust in G-d, and not relinquish her land for a false sense of security.
Published by The Jerusalem Post Daily Internet Edition, October 11, 1998
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"WHAT PRICE FREEDOM?" -- poem by Eva
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