Sivan Rahav-Meir
Sivan Rahav-Meirצילום: אייל בן יעיש

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

More than a thousand people came to an Independence Day ceremony at the Young Israel of Woodmere synagogue in New York. The following are among my remarks at this event:

"This week I heard the following question: In another 75 years, where will Israel be? Well, the most predictable thing about the Jewish people is their unpredictability. They break all the rules. There is no precedent for a nation that loses one-third of its people -- six million -- all at once. But then there is no precedent for a nation that was scattered to the four corners of the earth but kept its faith, its identity, and its homeland, and then rose from the ashes after two thousand years.

We are simply too preoccupied with our daily troubles and internal conflicts to do a zoom out for a brief moment in order to see the process that is at work.

It is not unrealistic to predict that the nation of Israel will continue to fulfill all the positive prophecies that are found in the Bible. This is completely realistic. Indeed, these prophecies were read for thousands of years in Yemen and in Morocco, in Poland and in Russia, but for us these prophecies, such as the following one, have come true:

'Old men and women shall yet sit in the streets of Jerusalem . .And the streets of Jerusalem shall be filled with boys and girls playing.' These words of the prophet Zechariah have come to pass in the playground in my own neighborhood.

The forecast for Messianic times has been recorded as follows: 'The wolf will live with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,' and "Out of Zion shall the Torah go forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Israel can and must be the center of peace, creativity, education, and technology. Above all, the start-up nation must lead the world in spiritual start-ups of faith, holiness, and morality.

This week I met thousands of our friends, Jews and non-Jews alike. I did not know we had so many unofficial ambassadors. Thanks to all of you in the United Sates who chose to be on our side, the right side of history, even when it's not always popular to be there.

I am often asked as a journalist to name my biggest scoop. The answer is this: My biggest scoop is the story of the nation of Israel. There is no story more exciting than ours, with more chapters still to come.

But - what can we do for Israel?

”What can I do for Israel?” an eight-year-old child in a Jewish day school in New York innocently asked me. I told him about something that I once heard, many years ago, when I began to keep mitzvot.

Before we perform a mitzvah, there is a custom to say that we are doing it "for all of Israel." A mitzvah is not something private that we do. It’s something of public, national, and even worldwide significance. As Jews, we are all connected to one another; everything that we do connects us to the magnificent entity known as the nation of Israel.

Therefore, I told the child, you are our protective Iron Dome. Every little good deed that you do here protects me in Israel and vice versa; my good deeds also have an effect on you.

Such a perspective can elevate every mitzvah that we perform. It’s “the butterfly effect” where a single movement of a butterfly’s wings, for example, can ultimately bring about a tsunami. Lighting Shabbat candles in Alaska influences what happens in Sderot just as putting on tefillin in Sderot influences what happens in Alaska. Tzedakah, education, Torah study, volunteering, and acts of lovingkindness are all connected to each other. This is clear proof that our souls are bound together at their roots.

We do not always live with this awareness but it is worthwhile to remind ourselves that even a child of eight in New York aspires to act in a manner that will benefit all of Israel.