[Dear Members, Today we have a special guest column by Arthur Rothstein from Phoenix, Arizona. Arthur uses our videos to teach his children and was inspired by ZionismU to make a sukkah decoration featuring Zionism’s founders.]
By Arthur Rothstein, Guest Columnist
For our family, Zionism is Judaism. It is the covenant started by Abraham and his family, continued for centuries from Moses and Joshua to King David and Solomon and foretold by many prophets after our subsequent exiles. Zionism is a motif that is found in every single Jewish practice for the last two thousand years.
While with exile we lost our ability to enact it, it nonetheless survived in our thoughts, our hearts, our hopes, our prayers and our texts. It is nothing short of a miracle that today it thrives, and blossoms and is experienced as an action in the State of Israel. It is the re-embodiment, reanimation and reincarnation of Jews and Judaism.
Our hopes and prayers, our dreams and story is playing out in front of our eyes. For us, Zionism is more than just a nation state for the Jews — a safe haven and protectorate of our collective people and culture — it is the very story of our people, our narrative, our destiny playing out on the world stage, and every Jew can have a part to play in this best story ever told.
Our family is not just religious and Zionist. Zionism is part of our relationship with God. It is our religious duty and moral imperative. Like all Jews today, we struggle to preserve it and pass this story to our kids and get them to play an active role as a Zionist. We tell stories, read the Tanakh, rejoice together during each holiday and try to celebrate our Heroes.
Children today, more than any other time in history, are visual learners. We must use multimedia to transmit our story to them. This is one of the reasons I find ZionismU so helpful. The video content and power points are a great educational tool. We also celebrate our teachers, our heroes (religious and not) by displaying their pictures and talking about them during our time together as a family. It is why I chose to create this poster that hung in our sukkah and it is why I chose to buy the small figurines of prominent Zionists.
Our kids get the action figure only after they have learned about each hero. We are blessed to live in a time when Zionism lives not only in our hearts but is also in our hands to carry out our divinely appointed mission – rebuilding our home in our ancestral land and using it to rebuild the world, as a blessing to others.