Independence is a Long Road

We are living a miracle. Now we must rise to the challenge to make it ours.

Former MK Yaakov Katz

OpEds כצלה
פלאש 90

62 years have passed since the wonderful miracle came to pass that took the Jewish People  from the crematoria ovens to national independence. The elderly who were alive at that time have left us and those that were youngsters then are grandparents today, yet we all understand that we are only at the wondrous beginning of a
We are only at the wondrous beginning of a long road towards complete Redemption and true freedom.
long road towards complete Redemption and true freedom.

Independence means being what we were chosen and destined to be; free of superfluities, free of the negative influence on our souls that emanated from the dark reaches of  the often cruel nations who ruled over us. 

We have advanced greatly and constructed the framework for reaching our goal. We have a strong army, institutions, a court system, and governmental infrastructure that we could only dream of for thousands of years.

Now it is time for real independence, time to pour our own content into this framework, content that is free of external factors, the content we received on Mount Sinai and that was passed on to us from generation to generation.

On the one hand, there is a rise in the Jewish birthrate. The world of Torah too is fruitful and expanding. So many Torah scholars line the yeshiva hall benches delving into the Torah's treasures, finding new commentaries for our sacred texts, to an extent that was never reached in the Diaspora. There are those that say that there has been nothing comparable to it since the writing of the Jerusalem Talmud.

On the other hand, public thought and discussion in Israel has is not yet prepared to leave Diaspora dependent ways of thinking. Perhaps the proper expression is that the Diaspora milieu has not been eliminated from the public mind, leaving it free to be what it can be. The media, it goes without saying, approach issues in a shallow
Diaspora milieu has not been eliminated from the public mind, leaving it free to be what it can be.
and Diaspora influenced manner, trying to find favor in the eyes of other nations and always giving in to external pressure. This is taken to such an extreme that it seems almost as if it purposely serves to hide the light of accomplishment so as to avoid bad luck, the proverbial evil eye!  Anyone who listens to the general media regularly risks believing that we on our way to ruin, physically and spiritually.

There is also no doubt that the our leaders’ weak stance when faced with pressures from other countries over our most elementary rights and principles are a result of national immaturity. This leaves room for optimism as time can change that type of response. The leaders of the nations upon whom we still depend to some extent make life difficult for us with regard to issues upon which there is no possibility of compromise.

This pressure forces us to return to a review of the basic issues that are at the foundations of our being. Jews who became accustomed to a life of comfort for a generation or two, without ever wondering about the foundations of our continuity and faith, are forced to find themselves telling the gentiles: "No! That’s enough!" The present situation has made our uniqueness clearer and more focused, our goal as a “light unto the nations” more visible.

We have witnessed 62 years of a continuous, growing miracle. We can be proud of taking part in it. Many of those who are aware of this miracle recognize its greatness, yet pray that the rest of the Jewish people join us soon from their places of exile.

We must always remember that we, who returned to Israel, are less than half of the Jewish People. Our continued independence has to include “the return of the sons to their lands” and the further empowerment of Torah life that can conquer our people’s hearts—as we move closer to Redemption, the coming of the Messiah and the building of the Holy Temple to which we direct our prayers and dreams.

Chag Sameach--Happy Independence Day to all!