by HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir
Sixty-two years ago, in 1956, Rav Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook said: “We have to be very joyous on Independence Day. We must be joyous over the revelation of the Divine Presence, the return to Zion, and the rebirth of the Jewish People. All the rebuilding, rebirth and survival of the State of Israel is interwoven with great miracles that G-d has shown us… Fifty years ago who could have imagined that the Turks, who ruled triumphantly over our land, would be entirely ousted? Ten years ago, would anyone have thought that mighty England would be forced to give up its rule over our country? Every tractor and tank and plane defending our country has divine holiness. Every aspect and every detail is a revelation of the divine, national content of the holiness of Israel. Even if many lack this awareness that it is Divine Providence which guides what is occurring, that is the reality. It is solid fact that will not go away, whether or not people recognize it…
“True, the entire land has not yet been conquered – even Jerusalem, the sanctuary of our kingdom is not yet entirely in our hands (This was eleven years before the Six Day War). In both quality and quantity, our rule over the Land must be completed and developed. Yet the State’s establishment constitutes the revelation of the Divine Kingdom, and we must be exceedingly joyful on Yom HaAtzma’ut over our having merited to become an independent country…” (Sichot HaRav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, on the 5th Israel Independence Day).
If seventy years ago, when the State of Israel was at the start of its path we were required to rejoice over the kindness G-d performed for us in establishing a State, all the more so now when over five million Jews live here. Israel is making enormous strides. It is today becoming one of the strongest countries militarily and economically. We see clearly how the words, “May our eyes see [tirena] Your kingdom” are being fulfilled – through our tangible nation state. The day is not far off when we will all merit the fulfillment of the entreaty, “May our eyes see [ve’techezena] Your return in mercy to Zion,” not just the restoration of the kingdom, but the restoration of the soul to the Temple sanctuary. We have merited “tirena”, referring to external vision. Now our eyes are raised to G-d in hopes of “techezena”, a more spiritual vision. (ibid., Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook).
With blessings for a joyous Israel Independence Day,
Looking forward to complete salvation,