This year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut commemorates the 71th anniversary of a marriage that has lasted more than 3,500 years. This may sound like a paradox, but it is the inescapable truth about the Land of Israel and the Jews. No marriage has lasted so long, been so deep in its commitment and so overwhelming in its love as the one between the Jews and their homeland.
The founding of the State of Israel, then, is not the beginning of the marriage between the land and the Jewish people, but rather a reaffirmation of the marriage commitment that took place thousands of years ago between God and Abraham. The marriage was created to give birth to a wellspring of religious and moral teachings that will suffuse humankind with the knowledge that life is holy and that God awaits people’s response to His call in order to redeem His world.
The establishment of the State of Israel was no doubt an epoch-making event. It is the completely extraordinary nature of this event that stands out – the transformation of the Jewish people’s earthliness into a radically different situation. While miracles no doubt occurred to enable it to happen, the most important religious dimension is, again, the enduring astonishment at this event, especially after the Holocaust. Only when the establishment of the State of Israel is seen in the light of the miracle at the Red Sea will its fascination continue.
Throughout the centuries, historians, philosophers and anthropologists have struggled with the concept called “Israel” almost more than with any other topic. While attempting to place Israel within the confines of conventional history, they experienced constant academic and philosophical frustration.
This year’s Yom Ha’atzmauth commemorates the 64th anniversary of a marriage that has lasted more than 3,500 years. This may sound like a paradox, but it is the inescapable truth about the Land of Israel and the Jews.
Marriage and the merit of living in the
Yom Ha’atzmauth is the 60th anniversary of a marriage that has lasted more than 3,500 years. This may sound like a paradox but this is the inescapable truth about the