The Jewish Press joins Jews around the world in celebrating Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, which this year falls on Tuesday, May 6. The accomplishments of a relatively small group of Jews who, in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust and in the midst of a large and antagonistic Arab world, created a state and then built it, in a matter of decades, into a modern dynamo of a country, were amazing enough. That this was done against the backdrop of several bloody wars and unrelenting acts of terror can only be seen as evidence of Divine intervention on behalf of the Jewish people. We are not unmindful of the concerns of those who reject as blasphemy political Zionism and with it any notion of the legitimacy of human endeavor to advance the return of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael. Yet, for guidance, we would point to the words of Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, zt”l:
Zionism was not merely a political movement by secular Jews. It was actually a tool of God to promote His divine scheme and to initiate the return of the Jews to their homeland – the land He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
To be sure, we have been troubled over the years by some policies adopted by Israeli governments, but we do not deem them as defining. We believe, as Rav Kook taught, that the birth of the modern state of Israel is properly viewed as part of the Ribbono shel Olam’s Messianic plan rather than just another nationalistic enterprise. May we all merit the coming of Mashiach swiftly and in our time.