The students of Rabbi Akiva are aware that there is an obligation to give one's life in a time of religious persecution, but they are surprised at the fact that Rabbi Akiva fulfills the commandment of “Shema” even while being tortured to death.
"Despite the great differences between us - you, workers on Kibbutz Zikim; I, a student at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem - and without hiding or overlooking our differences, it seems to me that there is much more uniting us than separating us."
There exists considerable confusion in the Israeli public regarding what ought to be the true nature and meaning of Yom HaZikaron (Israel's Memorial Day). Many believe, superficially, that on Yom HaZikaron it is our duty to bow our heads in sorrow.
One who receives something for nothing does not always know how to appreciate it as he should. The more we sacrifice ourselves for the sake of possessing the Land the greater will our bond with the Land be.