Saturday, January 28, 2023 -
Print Edition

Happy Birthday, Israel!

As we all know, this month is Israel’s 60th birthday. I’d like to briefly examine what this means, to reach the big 6-0. A 60-year old man or woman would naturally encounter certain physical effects of aging. Perhaps this change would include a slight decrease in terms of strength, agility, physical stamina, and more. Additionally, a person of 60 could find himself or herself facing wrinkles, gray hair or hair loss, and slight problems hearing or seeing.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m well-aware of the fact that 60 is a far cry from old age (breathe, Mom and Dad). Nonetheless, 60 is not 20, and I’m merely attempting to gently state the obvious fact of the human condition — our bodies age with time.

That said, I really do feel that 60 is pretty close to the apex of life for many people. Although I can only go by hearsay, I’m confident that men and women who are 60 years old feel happy, fulfilled and accomplished. They have lived long enough to have learned quite a lot; they’ve made mistakes, accomplished dreams, raised children (perhaps even have grandchildren), and traveled the world. They’ve built careers, fallen in and out of love, and perhaps most importantly, they have taken the time to get to know themselves — who they are, what they believe in, and what matters most.
At 60, these strong men and women may not care so much about petty details anymore. No longer caught up in the naiveté, vanity, or invincibility that comes with youth, 60 year-olds most likely don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. And at 60 — as opposed to 80 — these people are still completely able-bodied, capable and youthful in numerous ways. They run marathons, hike 14-ers, battle and beat illness, and truly know how to live.

So what does all of this mean for Israel? I would say that 60 is looking pretty darn good for this country.
And the metaphor really does ring true — Israel has been through more wars than anyone would’ve liked, has discovered her values and ideals, realized what she will or will not give up, and has acquired the life experience necessary to stand as a formidable force in the world.
So this year, I raise my glass to you, Israel, and toast to your past, present and future. And although Israelis say, “May you live to 120,” I personally wish you that and so much more . . .

Leave a Reply