The people in this picture are residents of the colony of Petach Tikvah who, sometime between 1930 and 1936, celebrated adding a new Sefer Torah to their shul.
Petach Tikvah, the “mother of the colonies,” was founded in 1878 by Rabbi Akiva Yosef Schlesinger, Rabbi Amit Grumet, Rabi Itti Saadia, and the immortal Reb Yoel Moshe Salomon.
When the colony was attacked by local Bedouins, the residents established the first Jewish fighting force in Eretz Israel since the destruction of the Temple, and named it Hashomer – the Guard.
On this election day morning, when Haredi rabbis interrupt their brawls in Brooklyn to come to Israel and instruct us on how a good Jews shouldn’t vote in the “impure” Jewish state – someone should inform them that the original Zionists here were good Jews much like themselves, but with the exception that they not only put on talis and tefilin every day – they also worked the fields and built homes and defended themselves – in the promised land.
This country was founded by religious Jews and, if you ask me, is also populated largely by religious Jews, most of whom are prepared to give their lives for it.
If you can’t see that, can you really call yourself a religious Jew?
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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