Judaism: Israel's Independence Day and Israel's G-d
Dr. Phlip BrodieThe author worked at the University of Pittsburgh where he received his doctorate. He made aliya recently with his wife and lives in Maaleh Adumim.
On May 14, 1948—the fifth day of the Hebrew month, Iyar--the Jews of Israel formally declared the creation of Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel. Since that date, the world has seen Biblical prophecy come true. These prophecies are the word of the G-d of Israel. They are ancient words, written into the human record during a period of Jewish history that unfolded between the Exodus from Egypt and the final prophet, Malachi, across approximately 940 years. For Jews who believe that the words of Tanach (Jewish Bible) are from the G-d of Israel, those 940 years took place between (app) 3,330 and 2,390 years ago.
For Jews who do not accept the Divine origin of their Tanach, there are the Dead Sea Scrolls. These parchments and their fragments have been dated as written between 1,900 -2,300 years ago, and their Jewish Biblical content is strikingly similar to the Tanach texts we use today (textual differences are generally attributed to official Jewish compilation work unfolding during (and beyond) this same period). The modern science of dating ancient materials confirms that the word of the G-d of Israel has been faithfully kept, copied and used by His people—for more than 2,000 years.
Israel does not exist today because of Western guilt for the Holocaust, as some argue. Israel does not exist because European Jews convinced Western colonial powers to usurp Arab land for Jews, in order to create a colonial outpost for exploiting Arab treasure, as some proclaim. Israel exists today for one reason only: the G-d of Israel ordained it to be—and spoke of it to all mankind through the Jewish Tanach more than two centuries ago.
Today, Jews return to Israel, per the predictive word of the Jewish G-d. Jews also return religiously to their G-d in record numbers. These Jews—and many Christians--understand that the Jewish Tanach is unparalleled in its ability to predict accurately the future of the Jewish people.
The Jewish people and its G-d are unique. No other record in human history has so correctly predicted so many public, national events that were predicted to begin more than three hundred years after prophecy:
-The Jewish Temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed;
-The Jewish nation—we believe it turned out to be 80- 90 per cent, perhaps higher—would be exiled from their land;
-during that exile, Jews would be scattered;
-in exile, Jews would be persecuted;
-during that exile, the land of Israel would become and remain a desert for everyone, both Jew and non-Jew;
-then, per the word of the G-d of Israel, Jews would return to Israel;
-Hebrew would be revived as the official spoken language of Israel;
-As Jews returned, the desert would end its exilic desolation and blossom again;
-a Jewish religious revival would bring Jews back to both G-d and Israel;
-Israel would become noteworthy among the nations of the world;
-Israel would become a success among the nations;
-Israel would rise like a lion before her enemies;
-As the day of the Final Redemption draws near, nations will rise up to destroy Israel.
These predictions, recorded more than 2,300 years ago, are now Jewish historical truth. As these words once prophesied future promise, they now describe our modern present.
No text of man has ever matched such publicized predictions. No other religion has such an ancient list of so many prophesies-come-true.
Nothing that man has done equals this record of miracle. It is only the word of the G-d of Israel that stands triumphant.
Now, this week, Jews in Israel celebrate the State’s 65th anniversary. More than two hundred years ago, the great religious leader, the Gaon of Vilna, wrote that we will all know we stand upon the threshold of our Final Redemption when four things have happened:
-600,000 Jews live in Israel;
-Jews come to Israel to claim and rebuild their land;
-the city of Jerusalem is rebuilt;
-the Torah laws of the land have been re-instituted.
Today, Israel has six million Jews. Today, Jews claim and rebuild their land. Today, the city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt; and today, the Torah laws of the land described by the Gaon have been reinstituted.
As we celebrate our 65th anniversary, we face another reality: according to a 2012 survey, 65 per cent of Israel’s Jews believe that our Torah’s Commandments are of Divine origin.
The Jews of Israel are certainly far from perfect. Ritual observance is not what some would like it to be. But Jews in Israel, despite their imperfection, stand today ready to praise the G-d of Israel just as readily as they stand to sing Israel’s national anthem. We may not all want to admit it, but we are G-d’s people. We believe in the G-d of Israel. We believe in Israel.