As the Jewish Year 5773 approaches and we leave 5772 behind, it is worthwhile to look back at some of the significant achievements from this past year which define Israel as a special and unique nation and people.
GILAD SHALIT RETURNED HOME
Regardless of whether one thinks that Israel should have freed more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to bring Gilad home, the reality is that a young soldier who we were praying for returned home alive and well and this is cause for great happiness. Even more significantly, the fact that we were even debating whether to make the deal or not, demonstrates the regard that we have for one life.
One Israeli soldier is so important that we are willing to free terrorists to make sure his life is spared. This demonstrates the value which Israel places on life.
ISRAEL HELPS TURKEY DEAL WITH EARTHQUAKE
A devastating earthquake took the lives of 430 people and injured 1,000 in Turkey. Despite the tensions between the two countries, Israel did not hesitate to offer assistance. Turkey initially rejected the offer but then realized the help was needed and allowed Israeli units to help.
This action demonstrates the dedication that Israel has to helping others and the humanitarian approach which it takes to its dealings with all people, even its enemies.
ISRAELI WINS A NOBEL PRIZE
Dan Shechtman, a professor at the Technion in Haifa, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His discoveries regarding quasicrystalline materials could be put to use in a large number of applications, including the formation of durable steel used for fine instrumentation, and non-stick insulation for electrical wires and cooking equipment.
Shechtman is the tenth Israeli to win a Nobel prize, thus continuing the remarkable contributions Israel has made to the world despite its small size and population.
FORMER PRIME MINISTER SHAMIR PASSES AWAY
Yitzhak Shamir, former Israeli prime minister, died at the age of 96. He was remembered by Israelis and world leaders for his statesmanship and being a humble leader. The stories about his determination and sacrifice reminded all of us not to take Israel for granted. The fact that he rose to be Prime Minister without seeking the position but simply through working hard for the betterment of the country.
Yizchak Shamir served as an inspiration to all Israelis and supporters of Israel around the world to rise up and contribute to this special country.
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS CELEBRATE COMPLETION OF TALMUD
Celebrations were held in halls, arenas, and stadiums throughout Israel and the entire world, whereever Jews are found, to celebrate the completion of the study of the Talmud. Every day, hundreds of thousands of Jews study a page in the Talmud and, after 7 1/2 years, they complete the entire Talmud.
This celebration reaffirms the strong commitment of the People of Israel to its spiritual roots and traditions.
May 5773 be a year in which we continue to witness and experience the greatness and the uniqueness of the People, Country and Land of Israel.
We thank you for being such a special part of the ‘United with Israel’ Family!
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