Today is Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day), and in the spirit of solidarity with Jews all over the world, we honor and celebrate the centrality of the Jewish State in the life-blood of Jewish history, heritage, culture and spiritual sustenance. As a modern political entity, Israel is only 72 years old, but in this short period of time Israel has become one of the most successful centers for technology, industry, medicine, agriculture, and science in the entire world. It is also the only democracy and one of the only dependable allies of the US in the entire Middle East.
Indeed, we can take great pride in the fact that Israel has established herself as one of the most democratic, forward thinking nations in the world, and during this period of global pandemic, we can continue to revel in our pride as a people. According to news reports, Israel has managed to navigate the COVID-19 crisis in a highly effective way. The amount of deaths and grave illness recorded there have been mercifully low. Additionally, Israeli research and scientific ingenuity has remained a global leader in efforts to generate testing, supplies and eventual vaccines to combat this pandemic.
Tonight at 5:00, Israel will be the focus of our weekly Live at Five (see link below). We will also celebrate our connections with Israel this coming Friday through our Sharing Shabbat experience.
There are many ways to designate time to honor Israel and celebrate her role in our lives. Yom HaAtzmaut invites us to do so. Israel is important to us as a Jewish people and as a faith, and it is important for us to collectively recognize her ongoing centrality to our existence.
Happy Yom HaAtzmaut!