From Dreaming to Living the Dream: Israel at 71

Stand for Israel  |  May 9, 2019

Israelis watch while Efroni T-6 Texan II planes perform during an air show, over the beach in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, on May 9, 2019 as Israel marks Independence Day, 71 years after the modern Jewish state was established. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Happy Independence Day, Israel! And Happy 71st Birthday! As the people of Israel celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Hayom’s Boaz Bismuth writes that the Jewish state is still in her early stages, ready to grow through new olim (immigrants), new children, and new challenges:

The fourth day of the Hebrew month of Iyyar, and Israel is celebrating its 71st year. It sounds official in 2018, right? But that’s just it, it’s not. Every year, every Independence Day, brings new wonder, something uniquely Israeli. Members of my generation, who were born into the reality of a sovereign Israel, are still moved every time: how was our generation privileged to fulfill the dream of our forefathers, the founders of the state, the dream of the return to Zion – “we were like those who dream.” Why us? Wondering why assumes that our generation is better than the ones before us, because we managed to bring about what our predecessors could not. That’s a mistake.

The state of Israel is the fruit of the work of many generations. One after another passed to the next the baton of the dream and the vision. It was a mission, both personal and collective. Judaism and Zionism have been running a relay race for thousands of years. An eternal initiative. My god, may it never end. Maybe herein lies the secret of our success: this is an initiative that is constantly in the making. At age 71, despite its success, the Zionist enterprise is still in its infancy. The country is still waiting for new residents, new immigrants, new babies, and new challenges. Like it was on its first Independence Day. Even 100 years from now, our great-grandchildren will still be thrilled when Israel marks its 171st anniversary. That is how it is on Israel’s Independence Day. From “we were like those who dream” we have become a people who live the dream; from the poem by Bialik to the guy who fixes the barbecue grill, we are still searching for the right balance.

The wonderful idea of the state of Israel contains an inherent contradiction: on one hand, the land has always been promised to us; on the other, at age 71 we are still a people in denial. This contradiction between the dream and the reality began in the time of our patriarch Abraham, the founder of the Israelite nation, who when the great promises made to him prompted him to leave everything and go into the land of Israel, was forced to exert all his strength to buy a grave for his wife at an exorbitant price. The stubborn opposition of various nations throughout history to recognize our people’s national and religious idea – establishing an independent state of our own – help makes Independence Day such a delicious holiday…

More than 9 million Israeli citizens, including the employees of Israel Hayom – and me, as their representative – say today, and every day: Thank you. We remember the 23,741 fallen who died so we could live and gave us the fulfillment of the dream and this wonderful country. And you, our readers and all the citizens of Israel of every faith, look around and tell me – would you really want to live in any country besides our lovely little Israel, who is 71 today? Happy Independence Day!

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