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Judaism: 55 Years of the State of Israel

?The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone.? (Psalms 118:22) ?A people that had been low amongst the nations became the cornerstone in the international edifice.? (Rashi)
Published: Monday, May 05, 2003 10:07 PM


?The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone.? (Psalms 118:22) ?A people that had been low amongst the nations became the cornerstone in the international edifice.? (Rashi)

Indeed, it has been fifty-five years since our State?s establishment. We can look back with satisfaction on the events that have followed the Jewish People?s fall to the very depths in the terrible European Holocaust. Those changes took place despite the enormous difficulties endured when the State was starting out. At that time, seven Arab nations attacked us with the intent of annihilating us. The country was likewise plagued by great economic and social ills that accompanied the absorption of millions of Jews returning home to Eretz Yisrael. The Jewish State developed more and more until it became an economic and military power, respected by the nations of the world.

Moreover, countless people the world over view the rebirth of the Jewish People in Eretz Yisrael as nothing less than the fulfillment of the vision of the prophets of Israel, who prophesied the return to Zion: ?For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.? (Ezekiel 36:24)

Today, we are at the height of the rebuilding of our national home. We already have a strong, modern state, but we must remember and repeat that the goal is not just a physical home. Rather, we must imbue content, spirit and soul into that national home. As Ezekiel said, the next stage following the ingathering of the exiles is: ?I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean?. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you?. I will cause you to walk in My statutes?. You shall be My people, and I will be your God.? (Ezekiel 36:25-28)

With blessings for a joyous Independence Day.
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Rabbi Dov Begon is founder and head of Machon Meir institutions.

Machon Meir is an Israeli educational institution and Hesder yeshiva dedicated to Jewish learning BeAhava UveEmunah (with Love and in Faith), in the spirit of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, the late Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel. Students at Machon Meir, Israelis and new immigrants, come from religious and non-religious backgrounds, and learn in Hebrew, English or Russian. The Machon can be contacted through its website, http://www.machonmeir.org.il.