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In 1939, when Reb Sholom Halberstam, brother-in-law of the saintly Bobover Rebbe Shlomo Halberstam, and some other Jews were fleeing from the approaching German armies, they came to a Polish town where the sexton of the synagogue, upon hearing their story, told them to stop running because the arrival of the Messiah was imminent.
There are many things that come to mind as Israel marks 55 years since it won its independence in 1948. If nothing else, Israel has demonstrated that Jews, given even less than half a chance, can collectively rise to the very peak of human achievement. We Jews have always contributed to mankind in much greater proportion than our numbers would suggest,wherever we found ourselves. But it is in Israel, where Jews have organized a state, which after a mere 55 years, has fostered wondrous achievements in virtually all areas of humanendeavor, that what we are capable of is so obvious.
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