What do you stand for?
I was in a taxi, on my way to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof, and as usual, I was talking it up with the driver, in this case a 22 year old from Katamon who shares the taxi with his father, and makes considerably more money a month than I do (and yet, for some reason, still has dreams of going to America for a few years to strike it rich - if only he could get a visa).
As we entered Har Nof, he mentioned to me that driving two cars ahead of us was the car of the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel and the Shas party's (Israel's Sephardi political party) spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who lives in Har Nof.
Ze'ev: So are you as Shasnik? (Are you affiliated with the Shas party?)
Driver: No, I'm a right winger who's against Arabs.
Ze'ev: Ok, but what are you for?
Ze'ev: You said that you're a right winger who is against Arabs, but what are you for?
Driver: You mean you want to know which party I voted for in the elections?
Ze'ev: No, I just want to know what you're for.
Driver; [Hesitating] I want this country to be Israeli... er... Jewish... [voice trailing off]
At that point, the driver received a reprieve of sorts, as we pulled up to the requested address, and the conversation came to an end.
It is often much easier for a person to know what he's against, but not what he's for. This is certainly the case among many of the members of the Jewish People and State.
For instance, all too often I hear from people (and political parties) that "I am against giving away land; I am against the fence; the government is corrupt; the media is biased; the Supreme Court has an anti-Jewish (or ultra-secular) agenda...
All those things may be true, but after hearing such an individual articulate all that it is that he is "against", I am no closer to understanding exactly what it is that he is for (and in many cases, neither is the individual himself any closer).
If we, as Jews do not understand why the Jewish People should continue to exist; if we, as Jews, can't articulate why it is that a Jewish State in the Land of Israel should exist and what our right to it is; If we, as Jews, are unable to understand what it is that we believe in and why it is that we believe in it, then we are nowhere and no one at the same time, and as such, stand for absolutely nothing, regardless of how many things we might stand against.
During the 2,000 year Exile, without fail, Jewish parents passed on to their children the essence of what it meant to be a Jew - what it was that being a Jew stood for, giving the next generation of Jews the inner (if not physical) strength to stand strong against their oppressors (be they of a physcal or spiritual nature). If the Jewish People and State are to have a future, we must do the same for our children. We owe all the generations who sacrificed so much to ensure that the Jewish Perople would endure at least that much.