Benevolence is an act done for the sake of another, out of love, compassion or generosity of heart, not in return and not out of coercion. In Judaism this is called a mitzvah, which includes connectivity, any kind of helping and helping others, with one’s body, money and soul.
Israel is known to be a light to the nations, or light for all nations. This term originated from the prophet Isaiah which translates by many into the Israelites universal designation as mentors for spiritual and moral guidance for the entire world: “He says: ‘It is easy for you to be my servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the besieged Israel; and I will make you a light for the Gentiles, to be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’” ~ Isaiah 49:6.
Chanukah the Festival of Victory, Liberation, and Lights
The Maccabees were victorious against the Greeks; they liberated the Temple in Jerusalem, found a jar of oil that was supposed to produce light for one day and miraculously the oil fueled the light for eight days. In the end everything worked out in a particularly miraculous way.
And the Hanukkah holiday, what does the word ‘Hanukkah’ mean? There are several explanations for this and here we discuss only one:
When you buy a new house, you hold a housewarming party, in Hebrew it is called Chanukat HaBayit. In this case, with the construction of the First Temple, the building received housewarming consecration. During the Maccabees, Hasmonean dynasty days – ruled the land of Israel from 167 BCE to 37 BCE – the invading Greeks broke into the Temple and defiled it. On the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev the Temple was liberated by the Maccabees. After the liberation they held Chanukat HaBayit, a re-dedication and purification of the Temple ceremony. The Hanukkah holiday is named after that ceremony.
Azerbaijan, US-AZ Cultural Foundation and Chanukah
For 30 years Armenia illegally occupied 20% of Azerbaijan’s land. In 2022, with a 44-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, this occupation came to a victorious end for Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani nation’s spirit turned from despair to hope.
Liberation is joyous but it is humanly costly. Many Azerbaijani soldiers were wounded during this war.
Israel is known to be a country that is one call away to come help anyone anywhere.
In 2021, despite the COVID pandemic’s obstacles the world faced, a delegation of Israeli doctors arrived in Baku, the capital city of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and operated on 150 Azerbaijani soldiers’ eyes. Many received prosthetic eyes and also went through facial reparation surgeries in order to give them an appearance with which they can be seen in public with confidence.
The eye of one wounded soldier, Arif Hajiyev, could be saved. A cornea was ordered and flown from Israel’s cornea bank and was successfully transplanted in Arif’s damaged eye, by “cataract extraction, intraocular lens implantation and corneal graft” triple procedure, all done under a humanitarian spirit act. An act of goodwill.
US-AZ Cultural Foundation Joins Benevolence Act
US-AZ Cultural Foundation‘s purpose is to advance relations between Azerbaijan, the United States, Israel and the West in General.
As a gesture of benevolence and light unto the nations act, with the generous support of ‘The State Committee for Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan‘, the State of Israel and Chabad-Lubavitch of South La Cienega, Los Angeles, California, on the first day of the Chanukah Festival, December 18, 2022, US-AZ Cultural Foundation, a United States Foundation, Nurit Greenger, Founder, and her team, are humbled and honored to announce that they will accompany veteran Arif to Israel, where he will meet and thank, in person, his cornea donor’s family and reconnect with his cornea transplant operating doctor, Yishay Falick, MD.
It is Azerbaijani wounded soldier Arif’s Chanukat eyesight: Israel, as a light unto the nations, Chanukah known as the Festival of Light and an Israeli ophthalmologist, Dr. Falick, has made it possible to give wounded soldier Arif Hajiyev the ability to see the light again.
Closing a diplomatic circle
The United States and Israel have had embassies in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan for the past 30 years.
In 1992, following its independence from the Soviet Union, the United States established diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan having an embassy in Baku, and Azerbaijan having an embassy in Washington D.C. Together, the two countries work to promote European energy security, expand bilateral trade and investment, and combat terrorism and transnational threats.
On December 25, 1991, Israel formally recognized the independence of Azerbaijan, becoming one of the first states to do so, and established diplomatic relations with the country on April 7, 1992 with Israel having an embassy in Baku. The two countries hold years of bilateral relations with strong trade and economic partnership in energy, startup, defense, agriculture, medicine, and more.
The missing link in the diplomatic triangle has been Azerbaijan. On Friday, December 18, 2022, the Republic of Azerbaijan parliament passed a historic law to open an embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, making Azerbaijan the first Shi’ite Muslim-majority country to send a top-rank diplomatic mission to Israel.
All acts of benevolence are in the spirit of harmonious coexistence, respect, collaboration and support between nations.