Kenneth Cohen

Appreciating Israel

My reaction to the horrible events of October the seventh, was somewhat strange.

My initial response was a feeling of being collectively violated as a people. I was in a state of shock and disbelief that something like this could happen in 2023. I also felt an immediate sense of hopelessness, as though we were still so vulnerable as a people.

After collecting my thoughts, I realized that this was not the case. I momentarily forgot that things are much different than they were in 1945. Today we have a Jewish homeland, and we have a Jewish army. We can now respond to attempts by our enemies to humiliate us.

This was so comforting to realize that we are living in a time of prophecy. I remembered the words of the Prophet Yechezkel, describing the return of Israel to its land. “You will dwell in the land that I gave to your forefathers; you will be a people to Me, and I will be a G-d to you. You will no longer suffer the shame of hunger among the nations.”

The Jewish people have come home to Israel. There are now nearly 7.25 million Jews living in Israel. We are so blessed to have a land that we can call, “home.” We are living in incredible times.

Yom Ha’atzmaut is the one day of the year that we recognize and show appreciation for the gift of Eretz Yisrael. We must never take it for granted and give thanks by reciting Hallel as a sign of giving thanks.

The tragedy of October the seventh, is beyond comprehension. But having our own land and army, was a comfort that our suffering ancestors, were never able to enjoy. Chag Ha’atzmaut Sameach!

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at
Related Topics
Related Posts