When Chile Seems More Jewish Than Israel

The Chile mine rescue reminds us of the original purpose of the existence of every country in the world: to save people no matter what, and not to abandon them to their fate.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmandinejad picked a bad day for his imperious visit to Lebanon at the invitation of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah. The starling went to the crow, as the Talmud says, or the other way around. It was not a good day for them, because it was actually a very good day for all humanity. And a good day is a bad day for bad people.

Hope now comes from Chile; all eyes are turned toward it in wonder; if only there were more like Chile and less like Lebanon.

How good it is, to see, if only from afar. Since yesterday I have not moved from my television screen. Here's a government that makes a pledge and follows through, that is cautious about its pronouncements, that listens before it acts - and the end result stems from meticulous planning and comes ahead of all the deadlines the government set for itself in the rescue operation. Where is there another government like that? One whose good and efficient actions turn out even better than predicted.

How good it is to see and hear masses of happy citizens, singing their national anthem, waving their flag, kissing the ground that had swallowed them up and now gave birth to them; and doing it all out of joy, not defiance or dominance.

How good it is to realize that somewhere out there, at the end of the world, there are people who love their leaders and even their ministers. We have come to think that ministers are made to be recoiled from and disgusted by. And, here, before our very eyes, there is is a reward for ministerial actions, and a living example that it is truly possible.

How good it is to discover a distant and strange country whose citizens are not required to swear loyalty to it, but rather it must swear loyalty to them. What a country, the work of whose hands defines its character, and not the words of its mouth. Sometimes, another country looks suddenly more Jewish.

How good it is every hour to meet another person emerging from the depths, born again and proving that you don't have to die to be a hero - you can live. How good it is, although it is not very pleasant, to follow clergymen humiliating themselves, haggling, as if they were in the market, over who had drafted God into producing the miracle; who had pulled God's beard to arouse his mercy on the miners in the bowels of the earth. Religions, of all things, with the various churches so similar to one another, stop at nothing, not even at themselves.

And how good it is, and how pleasant, to remember the original purpose of the existence of every country in the world: to save people no matter what, and not to abandon them to their fate.