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Reading Israel

Start-Up Nation

Tags: Books, Science and Technology

by Dan Senor and Saul Singer


START-UP NATION addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel-- a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources-- produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK?

With the savvy of foreign policy insiders, Senor and Singer examine the lessons of the country's adversity-driven culture, which flattens hierarchy and elevates informality-- all backed up by government policies focused on innovation. In a world where economies as diverse as Ireland, Singapore and Dubai have tried to re-create the "Israel effect", there are entrepreneurial lessons well worth noting. As America reboots its own economy and can-do spirit, there's never been a better time to look at this remarkable and resilient nation for some impressive, surprising clues.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


  • Do you think these stories from the Second Intifada are still relevant and important to share ten or more years later and if so, why?
  • What lessons can we learn from these survivors that we might cultivate to master any crisis in our own lives?
  • Which of these resonate with how you might address adversity in your life?
  • What lessons can you learn from these bereaved family members and how they have responded to their grief and pain?
  • What are some of the strategies that the bereaved families in the book used to educate people on how to behave with survivors and bereaved family members and how might you apply these in your own lives?
  • What practices do you or might you follow to commemorate the loss of your loved ones, as well as those who have fallen protecting the Jewish homeland?
  • Do you have a preparedness plan for your family or community in case of an emergency or disaster
  • Do you help your family build resilience as a unit or individually?
  • What is your favorite selection from the book and why?
  • Is Living Beyond Terrorism a book you would recommend, why, and to whom?

DISCUSSION LEADER’S GUIDE

  • What lessons can you learn from these bereaved family members and how they have responded to their grief and pain?

For parents, there is no greater grief than losing a child; but when a child dies suddenly as the result of a terrorist attack or in the service of one’s country, it is the parent’s worst nightmare. There is no time to prepare for the worst or somehow make their farewells. The parents in Living Beyond Terrorism may have had a very difficult time in finding closure; yet some have demonstrated incredible resilience, strength, and determination. They have turned their grief into doing good for others, turning the most negative episode in their lives into something infinitely positive. They have responded to pain and suffering by building, growing, making meaning out of suffering, and choosing life. They have learned how to “live next to” and “move forward with” their feelings of grief, pain, and helplessness

To fill the big holes in their hearts created by their losses, these parents have channeled their grief, pain, anger, and helplessness into life-affirming activities of remembrance, education, and activism, honoring the memories of their beloved children and truly making a difference in their lives and the lives of others. They have found meaning in their suffering by creating foundations to help other families and by speaking out to educate others and build public awareness about the impact of terrorism. Through these acts of healing others, over time, these bereaved parents heal their own hearts and souls, and leave a legacy for future generations.

  • What are some of the strategies that the bereaved families in the book used to educate people on how to behave with survivors and bereaved family members and how might you apply these in your own lives?

Many of the bereaved family members echoed similar experiences: “Some people see me in the street and go to the other side. And this is the biggest humiliation that you can get. They don’t know how to behave or how to make contact. I think in a country like Israel that has seen so many piguim [terror attacks] and so much pain and with soldiers in the army, people have to know how to react.”

  • What practices do you or might you follow to commemorate the loss of your loved ones, as well as those who have fallen protecting the Jewish homeland?

Commemoration, the creation of memorials, can be a significant part of the bereavement process as it continues the commitment to a loved one after his or her death in a world that has been challenged by loss. Furthermore, commemoration helps us to bear witness and leave a legacy so that the victims and the survivors will not be forgotten. As so eloquently expressed by Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, Nobel Poet Laureate, and Founding Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: “Not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are also responsible for what we are doing with those memories.” And as engraved in stone at the Museum’s entrance – “For the dead and the living we must bear witness.”

In Israel, the commemoration process is known as hantzacha, which means perpetuation or immortalization, and has been described as remembering. It may be spontaneous, as in the placing of flowers, pictures, and memorial candles at the site of a terrorist attack, or in the handwritten messages of love and remembrance painted on nearby stone walls. Later, the family and friends of the person who died may design and fund private commemoration at the place of the attack, in schools or playgrounds, on the internet, in the synagogues, and elsewhere, allowing people who never met the fallen to know something about them and, more importantly, to remember them. Finally, public municipal and state commemoration allows the society as a whole to mourn and remember, for example at the national cemetery at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s national memorial day for the fallen soldiers and the victims of terror).


The Reading Israel Book Club's Book of the Month

Every month, the Reading Israel Book Club at Israel Forever brings you a new literary delight to grow your Israel connection through the written word.

We hope that you enjoy our selections and participate in discussion not only with your friends and family but with an international community of readers in our open discussion group on Facebook.


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Tags: Books, Science and Technology