Dov Hoch
Dov Hoch

600,000 Jews left Egypt & On Passover in 1948 there were 600,000 Jews in Israel

Before Passover, I take my children to the Judean Desert outside Jerusalem to look at Mount Nebo. From that height above Jericho Moses surveyed the Promised Land.  I obtrusively place my children in the landscape given to the Children of Israel 3,000 years ago and prepare them for the Passover holiday by asking a simple math question:

How is it that in Nissan, the month of miracles, 600,000 Children of Israel left Egypt (Exodus 12: 37) and 3,000 years later on Passover in 1948, the eve of Israel’s independence, there were 600,000 Jews in Israel ?Mount Nebo 2

We walk in the desert which inspires a sense of Mount Sinai and I tell them: The Children of Israel left Egypt rendering us a people; in order to get the Torah and come into our land.  That is the meaning of Passover.

Looking at Mount Nebo, we read the last verse of the Torah, describing Moses looking over the Promised Land from Mount Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:12).  The Torah concludes with the last word “Israel”, which is a Hebrew acronym meaning there are 600,000 letters in the Torah יש ששים ריבוא אותיות לתורה one for each of the children of Israel.

And they read the Torah and they are in the Land celebrating Passover along with more than 6,000,000 of the Children of Israel.

About the Author
Dov Hoch has been published in Arabic and Hebrew in 50 Middle East media outlets. He is a founding board member of Yemin Orde Educational Initiatives; and SIGNAL - Sino-Israel ties. Dov served for 10 years on the executive board of the America Israel Chamber of Commerce. He is President of the Penn Club of Israel and Co-Chairman of the Ivy League Alumni in Israel. Dov lives in Ra'anana with his three sons and is writing a book: The Perishability of Importance. My BIO starts in 1492. That year Columbus discovered America and inculcated it's anything is possible approach. When I was in first grade America landed on the moon and from my school yard I saw the World Trade Center being built; both the New York baseball and football teams won championships. The climate of accomplishment set a high bar. I was taught: The sky is the limit and understood that was the lower threshold. However for 20 years, I only sought material accomplishment and corporal opulence. The half of me Columbus created was so spiritually spineless and so removed from religion that in high school I brazenly wrote: Primal Light, Celestial Heights – a concept so absurd; In my dialog with God – Man has the last word. Today I thank God that in 1492 the other half of me also had its genesis. That year my family left Spain for Eastern Galicia and settled in Dinov (now Poland). They lived there for 400 years and for 20 generations, they prayed East towards Jerusalem (500,000 times) but they went West to New York. A life-time later I somehow heard my ancestor’s prayers directed towards Zion and moved to Israel and for five years, shepherded thousands of Ethiopian Jews there. Along the way, I received two Ivy League degrees: I learned about purpose of civil society in America's first university founded by Benjamin Franklin. I learned how to write while looking at Rodin's statue of The Thinker on the campus of Columbus's namesake and in a faculty founded by Pulitzer himself. And I choose to populate the 5 or 6 lines on my tombstone with facts that my three boys were born in Israel and my humble purpose was to be their doormat to Zion. In life for them I am both Noah and the Ark.