Herzel, Millennials & Parenting

October 2018

“If you will it, it is no dream” “אם תרצו אין זו אגדה”

Theodor Herzel wrote this iconic line in his visionary book ‘Altneuland’ in 1902.

This sentence, some say, was the spark that ignited the Zionist dream and drove our forefathers and mothers to return to the land of Israel.

All Israelis today, know this line. I remember the story from primary school. Now, that Israel has celebrated its 70th birthday, it got me thinking. Made me remember this line.

Has it changed us? Israelis?

I believe it has. I believe that something is profoundly different about us, Israelis, and perhaps this collective narrative has something to do with it.

‘If you will it, it is no dream’ meaning; if you want something with all your heart, and if you make a genuine effort and work really hard and wise, you can achieve ANYTHING! Even the most complicated & difficult tasks & goals.

‘The miracle of Israel’ is a term often heard in our town squares, ‘look what we have achieved in only 70 years’, ‘see how we have made the desert bloom’, ‘witness how the people of Israel have risen from the ashes of Europe like the Phoenix’. We heard these famous sayings numerous times growing up.

So, how did we absorb this narrative? How does the spirit and mind of Israelis form around such ideas and beliefs?

I believe, that the way people tend to think, feel and behave is what determines their personality. I think that from early childhood we are programmed that the sky is the limit. That if we study hard, if we get a good education, if we work and invest our best efforts, we can do anything! We can make every dream come true.

Maybe that is what makes us imaginative and great ‘think outside the boxers’. Israeli innovation and resourcefulness are world famous. I believe that being encouraged to dream big from a very young age, and collectively believing that with smart minds and ideas any targets can be reached is what lies in the basis of Israel becoming the start-up nation.

Our parents and grandparents raised generations of proud, resilient Israelis. The thought that anything is possible is inherent deep within us and most of us grew up: sociable, chatty, assertive, warm and passionate people.

And now it is our turn, we are the parents of today’s children, the centennials. Now we teach our kids that every individual is unique and special and that they are all capable of greatness… if they only wish it so….

We teach them to speak their minds and stand for what they believe in, we nurture their sense of self-esteem and empower them to be imaginative, curious, and even adventurous. We tell them we love and support them no matter what they do, and who they choose to be. We encourage them to achieve high but mainly to be happy and kind human beings.

We, the parents of today continue to raise our kids with the same set of values that the generations before us here brought to life and lived by.

If you will it, it is no dream‘ said the visionary of our state, 116 years ago. Little did he know, or perhaps not so little… those generations of dreamers, high-achievers. Innovative and original people will grow up here in this Old-New land (Altneuland) of Israel. 

The “Israel is 70” box celebrates Israeli creativity, ingenuity & innovation. we are the products of “if you will it, it is no dream” and we make outstanding products because of it.