Israel turns 68 this week. Think about that for a moment. The modern state of Israel has only been around for sixty-eight years. Many people reading this are old enough that they were listening to the radio broadcast on November 29, 1947 as the UN voted to partition Palestine into two states, one for the Jewish people and one for the Arab population. Many were around to read stories in the paper about the fateful day in May, 1948 when Ben Gurion declared Israel a state. It is hard to believe Israel is less than seventy years old. With our three thousand year connection to the land, sixty eight years is but a small ripple. What is even more amazing is what the tiny, modern country has accomplished in this short amount of time, despite being constantly in a state of war, emergency or terror.
This week we celebrate the founding of the modern State of Israel. We take pride in the way Israel has become a safe haven for Jews around the globe seeking asylum from persecution. We are humbled by the scientific, technological and medical advancements of a country with a population of only eight million. We bask in the accomplishments in the areas of culture, language, arts, theater and education that are continually recognized globally as some of the best in the world. We are saddened by the unfortunate loss of life due to terrorist attacks and IDF responses to those attacks. Pray for a time when there will be peace in the land and that the two peoples vying for that space can live side by side in harmony.
Most of all we recognize that despite all its difficulties, regardless of its problems, notwithstanding the government’s entrenched bureaucracy, it is still our Jewish homeland.
Am Yisrael Chai! – Long Live the nation of Israel!
Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel has been Midbar Kodesh Temple's spiritual leader since August 2008. Rabbi Tecktiel was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in May of 1996. He holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one from List College and one from Columbia University. He also holds a Masters of Arts from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
You can follow him on Twitter @RabbiMKT