Monday, May 09, 2011

Israel's 63rd Independence Day

Today begins Israel's 63rd Independence Day, with the official ceremony on Mount Herzl. Here's a bit of commentary on the history involved:
Israel is 63 years old.

It began as an effort to do the impossible: revive the Hebrew language and resettle the Jewish People in the Holy Land, almost two millennia after the Jewish capital of Jerusalem was occupied by Roman legions and the Holy Temple burnt down.
Over the centuries, the Jews had seemed to turn into a non-nation: a multicolored world tribe of wanderers, always weeping for their lost glory, always on the run, forever fearful of the wrath of the "normal" nations within whose borders they resided.

All nations recognized the Jews' unique talent, and realized the debt that civilization owed the ancient nation. Monotheism, the precepts of Western morality, the idea of nationality that transcends time and borders, even the seven-day week and the Sabbath were passed on to the world by this Semitic-Mediterranean tribe.

As the world progressed from "Dark Ages" to modernity, all recognized the utterly disproportionate contribution that Jews made, as individuals and as a group, to the commercial, financial, scientific and political systems that defined the new world. Amazing breakthroughs in knowledge, bold artistic revolutions and earth-shaking world movements were formed and led by the progeny of Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov.
Continue reading at the link. And here's more on some of the people who were chosen to light torches on Independence Day (I can't seem to access the embed code, or I'd add the video here). They're excited at being invited to light the big candles, and this is definitely an occasion to be marveled at.

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