“Let’s go up to the mountain,” my son requested, and so we found ourselves immersing in the mikvah before dawn and going up to Jerusalem via a sun-drenched ascent.
At the entrance to the mountain waited Harel, who had asked to come with.
“Tell me a little about yourself,” I asked Harel when we sat down for coffee in Kfar Saba a week ago.
“I’m 24 years old, a resident of Karmiel. I was released from the army 3 years ago – where I served as a computer technician – and planned to emigrate to the US and just become an American,” he replied.
“And what happened?”, I asked.
“I happened to come across Zehut’s platform.
“This book changed my life. I realized that I have an identity. I haven’t stopped reading, America no longer interests me at all – I want to maintain my identity. That’s how I got here, too, to the Temple Mount,” he replied.
“And what are you planning?” – asked Harel – “Is Zehut running?”
I didn’t want to say yet, but I wanted to prepare him for the announcement that I was going to make.
“Do you know a politician or a party that has influenced young people in Israel more than Zehut?”, I asked.
“Definitely not,” Harel replied. “They know how to get into the Knesset but they don’t have any real impact on reality.”
“Do you get it?” I told him. “You’re my victory, because you’re the proof that Zehut really made a difference.
For us, politics isn’t the goal but just the tool – one of many. When it moves us toward our goal, we use it, and when it doesn’t, we use other tools.”
We went up to the mountain, and a cadet from an IDF course joined us, who eagerly listened to explanations, as well as a young yeshiva-looking man.
“I’m with you,” said the young man as we came down the mountain, “and my brother, too, who until recently lived in South America and was going to marry a local girl. Thanks to you, he discovered his identity to you and has just returned to himself and to the country – without Zehut, we would have lost him.”
Again and again I hear these stories.
There is a party that has shown many young people in Israel their identity.
That wasn’t the intention, but in practice that’s what happened. Our platform isn’t a book about Zionism or repentance. But it connects our Jewish identity to political reality.
Zehut really has made a difference, and these young people are her big triumph.