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Number 63

It’s Israel’s Birthday.  Number 63!  Well the Modern State of Israel is 63 years old today.  It is Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day.  Of course Israel is 1000’s of years old.  It is an ancient land, the Promised Land of the Torah.  And it is 63 years since the revival of the political entity of a Jewish homeland!   That is what makes Israel unique. It is a Jewish Democratic State.  A Jewish majority.  A Jewish rhythm to the year, to the week.  Hebrew is the language not just of the Torah but of the People of Israel.

It is a beautiful country-beaches, desert, mountains, hills, green valleys and urban centers.  And it is a cultural center and Israel has a tremendous economic engine that drives not just Israel but the surrounding area!  It competes on the world economic stage.

Like every country, Israel has its challenges.  Both external and internal challenges.  And like every country its political realities.  But the recent movements and calls to divest from Israel as a way to force the state to settle with the Palestinians is to miss understanding the realities on the ground.  When you go to Israel and you go to Palestinian territories you understand the divide between developed nations and developing nations.  Between east and west. Between democratic institutions and no institutions at all.

Israel isn’t perfect.  Not by far.  But it is still the fulfillment of an ancient dream of our people.  May we salute her and help Israel fulfill its highest ideals.

Come celebrate Israel Independence Day on Friday, May 13 at 8 pm as we welcome Israel’s Consul General, Hon. Yaakov Dayan at Shabbat Services at Kol Ami (1200 N. La Brea Av, West Hollywood at Lexington Av)