There are three distinct aspects to being called a survivor. The first one, of course, is remaining alive in life-threatening circumstances. By the Grace of God, Israel's 200 000 Holocaust survivors all meet this criterion.
The second aspect requires perseverance: the will to carry on, despite hardships or trauma – and as far as that is concerned, Israel's Holocaust survivors are in the big leagues!
Thirdly, a survivor must remain functional. Recently, largely thanks to an impassioned and informed motivational speech by Holocaust Survivor, Dora Roth, in the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) during April, the government voted to increase state support for all Holocaust survivors. However, in the next breath it shifted responsibility for the administration of these new support packages to a Ministry well known to be less than efficient. Following on Madame Roth's precedent, Holocaust survivor Avraham Berkowitz became his people's voice of rage at Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen over this matter. Berkowitz then turned to Finance Minister Yair Lapid to demand that the shift be blocked.
Hats off to Holocaust survivors in Israel! What sterling role models they are. Just perhaps, Israelis in general need to take a leaf out of the same book, particularly when it comes to functionally addressing the social ills that plague a young and otherwise vibrant nation. Democracy in name only is a sad reality in too many nations - America included. As God planned it, once again Israel finds itself in the forefront, and through the voices of some of its most senior citizens. It is high time Holocaust survivors receive the full recognition they deserve!
Israel Today is committed to supporting Holocaust survivors. For your gift of $55, a Holocaust survivor will receive supermarket gift coupons - a special blessing with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) just ahead. Click here *AND extending over all the holy days, Israel Today will match your gift, ensuring a festive table for those Israeli citizens who truly need our love.