Happy 70th anniversary Israel!
This year, it is Friday April 20 that coincides with the 5th of Iyar. In 1948, it was May 14, and that day was a uniquely momentous Friday. On that erev Shabbat, 70 years ago, the modern State of Israel was declared. After all the pain, prayers, struggles, yearnings, sacrifice, blood and sweat and tears, the time had finally come. The התקוה בת שנות אלפיים – hatikvah bat shnote alpayim – the hope of 2,000 years – had finally been realized! We were home – we are home!
And what a blessing this miracle has been for the Jewish people, and for the world at large. This magnificent land, at one with Jewish history and continuity from time immemorial, has relieved the Jewish people of its millennia-old forced exile and dispersion, welcoming them home from anywhere and everywhere. With unparalleled imagination, talent, grit, valor, and determination, this great people built a glorious beacon of light and goodness. Despite being harassed by enemies within and without, despite rampant anti-Semitism, despite being under siege from huge implacable enemies surrounding this tiny nation with the aim of annihilating it and the Jewish people, nonetheless from its very beginning Israel has been extending a sincere hand of peace to all who would reciprocate with honest good-will.
And with all this, Israel is a remarkable success, always eagerly sharing this success with all who want it – anyone, anywhere, anytime. Israel’s brilliant life-saving and life-enhancing inventions and innovations are always there to help elevate people’s lives the world over. Indeed the country’s very existence and inherent character are truly good for the world.
We thank God for this great miracle and awesome blessing of Israel. We thank all those courageous and visionary pioneers of Zion who gave of themselves to ensure the revival, reestablishment, and rebuilding of the Jewish national home in our ancient and eternal sacred Jewish homeland – Israel! We thank all those brave soldiers and leaders who tirelessly and selflessly continually protect and defend the Land and People of Israel, and Jews throughout the world. And we hail all those who sincerely, passionately, and unequivocally support Israel.
Mazal tov! תחי מדינת ישראל – long live the great State of Israel!