Secret of Success
"Any attempt to sever oneself from the Jewish heritage and tradition while suggesting an alternative secular culture or identity is doomed to fail. Without tradition constituting a significant facet of our culture we won't be able to make achievements in fields considered secular, and not only literature."
Thus spoke Ariela Zim, a teacher in the Neveh Shmuel Yeshiva High School in Efrat, whose students had the highest average score in the 2008 literature tests in the national matriculation exams. She was commenting on the fact that the top five schools with the best average on this test were religious institutions.
As we hear this week's Torah portion read in our synagogues we are saddened by the failure of our ancestors to appreciate the gift of Eretz Yisrael. At the same time we who have been privileged to enter the Promised Land must be aware that it can only be a true Jewish state if our tradition is an essential part of our culture, enabling us to make achievements in every field and guaranteeing Israel forever.