Yom Haatzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, begins this Wednesday evening. It should begin Thursday evening, but due to the fact that its’ concluding activities might impede the start of Shabbat, the celebration is backed up one day. There is much to celebrate on this 70th anniversary, as Israel continues to be a force for good throughout the world, to wit:
Whenever there is a natural disaster around the world, one of the first teams on the scene to set up a hospital are the Israelis. In gratitude for their hospital in Haiti, many Haitian boys born there were named “Israel” by their parents.
Mobileye, an Israeli company, first created the sensor systems found in an ever-increasing number of cars.
Israelis invented the first touch-screen, as are many common programs and software found in smartphones.
The drip irrigation system was invented by Israelis, as are various breeds of fruit and vegetables that grow in the harsh Middle-Eastern climate.
Their Iron Dome defense system was built in partnership with Raytheon Industries.
Cures for major diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s’ and certain cancers are in the experimental stage in Israeli hospitals.
A moon mission is in the works.
I could continue to wax poetically over the immense number of inventions that have improved the lives of countless people. If you are interested in keeping abreast of these fascinating stories, I encourage you to subscribe to a free e-magazine, Israel 21C, by clicking on this link: https://www.israel21c.org/. On the upper right hand corner you can click a “subscribe here” box and receive this weekly report of the good things happening in Israel. Of particular note in this week’s edition is an article on twelve ways to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut like an Israeli: https://www.israel21c.org/12-ways-to-celebrate-yom-haatzmaut-like-an-israeli/.
I do not discount nor ignore some of the lesser stories in Israel. I do not think that there is any peace-loving person who would not want to see a just and lasting resolution between Israel and the Palestinians. Too many times, we read of poor choices that politicians or soldiers make, and those sadden me. However, to hold Israel up to a different standard than the rest of the world, particularly countries where their rulers and governments abuse their citizens and do not offer them the freedoms that Israel offers all of its citizens, is simply anti-Semitism. There is not one country on this planet that does not face challenges, so the one who is without sin is the only one entitled to throw the first stone, in which case there is no eligible stone-thrower on this planet.
Just as July 4 is a day to celebrate how lucky we are to live in the United States, so too is Yom Haatzmaut the day to celebrate how fortunate we are to have the State of Israel. Permit me to offer the Prayer for the State of Israel in concluding:
Avinu Shebashamayim, Rock and Redeemer of the people Israel: Bless the State of Israel, with its promise of redemption. Shield it with Your love; spread over it the shelter of Your peace. Guide its leaders and advisors with Your light and Your truth. Help them with Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of those who defend our Holy Land. Deliver them; crown their efforts with triumph. Bless the Land with peace, and its inhabitants with lasting joy. And let us say: Amen.