This has been a quiet week in Israel. I did not write a single update. Yes, I did write an article for the "Times of Israel" on Yom Hashoah– and it's probably a stretch to talk about a "normal week", when at least one night during that time everything was closed to remember those murdered in the Holocaust. And, true, it is hard to call everything here "normal" when just over the border of the Golan Heights a Civil War is taking place, in which the government seems to using chemical weapons against its own people. However, despite this, it almost seemed like we were living in a normal country this week– something like Norway or Sweden, or some other boring locale. The lead news item here all week reported the story of North Korea, and its threats against America. Another lead story told about a tragic accident, where a truck lost control coming down the Carmel mountain in Haifa. Six people were killed. The third story of the week featured the endless speculations on what our new Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, is going to do. However, the speculations became "news", since there were no real news stories. There was even some good news. It seems that Jewish Agency Head, Natan Scharansky has come up with a plan to solve the problem of sharing the Kotel between the Orthodox and everyone else. Remarkably, it seems like Scharansky's plan is being universally accepted.
Of course this period of normalcy will all end tomorrow night. Tomorrow night, Sunday at nightfall, when Yom Hazikaron begins, we will all be reminded of the price at which our current 'normalcy' was obtained. We will remember the sacrifices that took place. We will remember and pay respects to all those who gave their lives. At the following nightfall we will celebrate this country's successes and triumphs-- (in that very Israeli manner, moving from mourning to celebration.)
What awaits us in the next year is a mystery, as it is every year. On one hand, Israel is no longer a small poor state. Its population is now larger than those of Denmark, or Finaland, or Norway, and close to that of Sweden. If we had the defense burden of any of these other countries, Yair Lapid's economic decisions would be easy. But Herzl chose to go South to our ancestral homeland. So, unfortunately, while we just had a particularly mundane week, I have no doubt that the year ahead will be full of challenges. Hopefully, those challenges will not be too great, and next Yom Haatzmaut I will be able to write about having had a "boring year", rather than just one boring week.