This week the Jewish community celebrates the 67th Anniversary of the establishment of the modern State of Israel. Founded in the face of enormous challenges and in the shadow of the atrocities of the Holocaust, Israel has given us much to be proud of over the course of 67 years. In this short period of time, Israel has become a global center for technology, industry, medicine, agriculture and science. It is also the only democracy and one of the only dependable allies of the US in the entire Middle East.
Yet, despite its centrality to global economics; despite its strategic importance for the United States; despite its spiritual and historical centrality to the Jewish people throughout history, a major sense of apathy is rapidly growing among large sectors of the American Jewish populace. This is especially true with the younger generations of our faith. This trend toward apathy is something that should concern all of us.
Addressing this concern starts with each of us. Whether we agree or disagree with Israeli politics, as Jews we cannot disregard the significance of Israel in our lives or the realm of geopolitics. Our history and faith are linked to the land and the people of Israel as Israel is and always has been central to our understanding of who we are and how we are connected as a people.
At our Friday night Sabbath services this week, we will honor these connections with music and mediation as we celebrate the 67th Anniversary of the modern State of Israel.