Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Last week marked the 73rd year of the state of Israel, the day of Independence. The day Hashem let us return home as a nation once again.

This wonderful and happy day has so much to tell.

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The land of Israel was given to the children of Avraham Avinu thousands of years ago. And from that promise to Avraham we have the merit to sit peacefully in our land.

Throughout the generations we have had so many challenges and pain surrounding this small land called Israel. The nation of Israel has come and gone from this land into exile, so many times. And the amount of wars and casualties revolving around this small piece of land is enough to fill the largest country.

Usually, what is valuable and precious comes in small amounts, like a beautiful diamond or a special piece of jewelry.

We the children of Hashem were given this precious gift called the land of Israel, and since the time of Avraham Avinu this land has passed through so many hands and leaders.

This land can be compared to a king’s castle.

We can all imagine if we are small children and we live at home with our parents, as we grow older we assume that after 120 when our parents leave the world they will leave their beautiful home to their children.

Now let’s picture this home being a castle and we the children are sons and daughters of the king. We would assume that we would receive a very nice inheritance from the king.

As we know, royalty comes with a lot of rules and regulations. To find favor in the king’s eyes one must behave accordingly.

When we think of a king in our times, made of flesh and blood, we can picture many figures that we see on the news and in the media.

However, when we the think of the Jewish nation can we clearly see all the royal children of Israel? Can we picture our kings of past generations? Can we picture our father the King of all Kings, G-d in heaven?

Yes the people of Israel are true royalty!

Hashem has a beautiful land and a special home right in the center of the land. However, since the time G-d chose Avraham to be the father of all the Jewish people and gave him the land of Israel to dwell in, for all generations, we did not always treat the land as we should or behave in a manner appropriate for the children of the King. Therefore we kept going into exile.

What this land and nation has gone through throughout time is written in the Torah and in all of the history books one can find. However, what the people of Israel are going through currently, is history in the making.

Hashem is master of the land and of the castle that belongs in the center of the land. Unfortunately we didn’t behave as true royalty and G-d took His castle away. Hashem in His great mercy enabled His children to stay in the land. However this land isn’t complete, without its castle in the center.

Hashem allowed His children to return to the promised land 73 years ago, under Jewish sovereignty, after being in exile and persecuted for so many thousands of years. Since we have returned home the children of Israel have turned the barren mountains into beautiful roads and homes making it possible for every Jew in the world to finally return back home. But what about Hashem’s Castle? Did we make room for His home? Is the main dwelling place of our King present? Can we visit our Master and receive warmth and wisdom each and every day?

Hashem has returned us home and given us the most beautiful land in the world. But what about the heart of the land? What about the Beit HaMikdash?

Every year when we mark the momentous day that Hashem gave us the great gift of returning home to our land after so many years of exile and persecutions, we must stop and thank Hashem. We must also stop on this very special day and say is that all? Is that all Hashem wants from us, to return home and that’s it?

G-d gave us back the land after so many years of wandering and hardships so that we can remember who we really are and what it is we really want.

We are royalty, we are all children of the King and we must remember what our duties are and how we must conduct ourselves. And above all, after we wipe away all remnants of the hardships we have gone through in all the past generations, and stand tall as we do today, we must realize that it’s not enough to just return home and build up the chosen land and live in it like kings. We must remember and beg our Master, King of the world, that we want Him to return home. We want Hashem to bring His home back to us and dwell right in the middle of us all. Our home and our beautiful land isn’t complete without G-d’s castle in its center.

With the land as beautiful as it’s become in the past 73 years, and the people who have changed from slaves and peasants to free people and gone back to our roots, what we need now, Hashem, is You and Your castle to return to us as well. We are ready.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com
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