Happy 70th Birthday, Israel!!
A land where there is more Torah learning today than ever in Jewish History. A new Jewish baby is born in Israel every four minutes. Biblical prophecies have come to life. Towns where our forefathers lived, such as Chevron, Beth El and Shilo, are replete with children, Shuls, mikvehs and thousands of fruit trees. A Jewish army has been established – the first in 2000 years to protect its citizens. 97% of boys receive a bris. Most fast on Yom Kippur. 90% have a Pesach seder. Perfect? Not by a long shot. We know the country is rife with religious differences and difficulties. But deserving of praise and gratitude to our Father who gave us this special gift? Definitely!
The following excerpts were written by Zachariah Schwartzberg zt’l. A survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and the concentration camps.
“I have never seen any conflict between the love of Judaism and the love of the State of Israel. I know too well what happens to defenseless Jews. The historical circumstances of the rise of a sovereign Jewish country, coming as it did in the immediate wake of the Holocaust – the culmination of endless persecutions, was as clear an indication as could be that there is a G-d in charge of the world, a G-d who directs our destiny and orchestrated the stunning miracle of Israel’s resurrection from the ash heap of history. To those like me who had seen firsthand the hatred of our enemies – the new reality of soldiers soundly defeating our enemies was a healing balm unlike any other to both heart and soul. I watched the awestruck expressions of the young soldiers at the kotel as they listened to the sounds of the shofar. I couldn’t help but recall the faces of the Jewish boys I’d known in Poland who could never EVER have imagined such a scene and never lived to see it. How different things would have been in the 30’s had there been an Israel. In July 1976, when Israel mounted the Entebbe rescue that shocked the world, I was besides myself with gratitude to Hashem”.
We must never forget the horrors of the past – always focus on our numerous blessings as we pave the way for our ultimate redemption, speedily in our days.