Wednesday, May 11, 2005

יום העצמאות : Independence Day

Fireworks are going off outside as I write this, celebrating another year of the first Jewish state in two thousand years. Its difficult to express in words what it means to witness a miracle, much less to live one every day; so I leave the words to more talented pens than mine, to the dreamer and the scribe.
I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabees will rise again...We shall live at last as free men on our own soil...The Jews who wish for a state shall have it, and they will deserve to have it.

-Theodore Herzl, "The Jewish State"

Yes, most of the gentle Jews are gone. Yes, the Jew is now solidly inside the affairs of the world. Yes, we are aware of the resonance of hate that lingers like a stench upon western civilization. Yes, we will continue to be the other, to hold our own view of things. Yes, we are a single people...Yes, there will be peace one day. Yes, we will renew our people. Yes, we touch millennia of precious history when we walk the streets of Jerusalem, and climb the hills, and journey through the sand wastes of the land. Yes, there are flowers to plant, seedlings to nurture, young trees to tend, old earth to nourish, and new earth to put in - a garden of new dreams to bring forth, to add to old covenants and messianic hopes, and to offer to ourselves and to our broken and beloved world. Yes.

-Chaim Potok, "Wanderings"