So says the Lord God: Behold I will take the stick of Yosef, which is in the hand of Ephraim and the Tribes of Yisrael his companions, and I will place them with him with the stick of Yehuda, and I will make them into one stick, and they shall become one in My hand…
And say to them, So says the Lord God: Behold I will take the Children of Yisrael from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side, and I will bring them to their Land. – Yechezkel 37:19-21
The Am Yisrael Foundation believes that by connecting to our shared Jewish traditions, we can understand how to move onwards and upwards as a People. We have suffered too many generations devoid of connection to a tangible pride in being a Jew. Our lives need to be injected with the notion that Judaism is rich with beauty, truth and power. We need to have a love, curiosity and fascination with our most basic of spiritual and practical gifts. Jews of all affiliations need to consider Jewish identity to be more than just their heritage. Judaism must be engaging and relevant to our daily lives. Being an active contributing part of the Jewish global community must be more than an historical responsibility, it must be seen as an honor, as a noble privilege. We need real vision.
Our Foundation’s complete logo connects to this vision, stylistically referencing the dream of Yosef and his brothers, the twelve Tribes of the Jewish People, coming together as stalks of wheat, one of the very few visual allusions to Am Yisrael in the Torah. Yet unlike the inequality in Yosef’s original vision and his subsequent sale into slavery by his brothers, our stalks are the tikkun; unity, all standing tall as one strong cohesive family. The four groupings of three tribes each is also reminiscent of Am Yisrael’s encampment around the Mishkan while wandering together in the desert.
Besides being one of the seven holy products of the Land of Israel, wheat is physically and symbolically the sustenance and nourishing foundation of our lives. This is why blessings on bread, both during the week, Holidays, and Shabbat, take on extra significance. In Kabbalah, wheat corresponds to the Godly attribute of Chesed (kindness). The characteristic of Chesed is expansion, to reach out and extend oneself towards others.
Our Foundation strives to reach out and extend itself in order to nourish today’s Jewish youth, creating strong vessels so the Jewish People have a luminous and meaningful future, just as Yosef did for his entire family.
When Yosef was in Egypt and physically disconnected from the rest of his family, he never stopped thinking about them, working tirelessly in order to prepare the land to receive them in their time of need. He created a safe haven, a cushion, a foundation, in advance of their arrival. Today’s new pioneers in the Land of Israel are doing the same, remembering all of the family left behind around the globe, and preparing to receive them as our Kibbutz Galiot from the four corners of the world continues to increase. Our logo’s border is missing all four corners, an allusion to a time in the near future where all the Jews have left the Galut, and have come home.
As our quote from the prophet Yechezkel refers to, the Jewish People have always had an idealized vision of the future, where not only our family actualizes it potential, Am Yisrael’s twelve Tribes strong and unified in the Land of Israel, but also the entire world is elevated toward nobler ways of living. It will be Moshiach ben David (from the Tribe of Yehuda), and Moshiach ben Yosef (from the Tribe of Ephraim), that will be the leaders of this movement, each bringing to the Jewish People a different strength needed for our redemption. Highlighted amongst our logo’s stalks of wheat are the fourth and eleventh, the chronological order within the Tribes of Yisrael of Yehuda and Yosef respectively. Their elongated ‘sticks’ (as referenced from our Yechezkel quote above) touching upon the ‘Y’ and ‘E’ of “Yisrael”, appropriately connecting with the stalks of ‘Y’ehuda and ‘E’phraim. Of these two ‘sticks’, the wheat stalk of Yosef is larger, as many understand us to currently be in the Messianic era of Moshiach ben Yosef, the time of laying the necessary foundations leading up to our final redemption.
Jewish unity will be the silver bullet that rectifies and redeems our People, Am Yisrael. May we all have the strength and wisdom to see God’s good hand in the world, and trust in the wisdom of our ancestors, coming together in our Home, with each of us giving over our unique talents needed to fully build up the Land of Israel.