Kenneth Cohen
Kenneth Cohen

G-d and the State of Israel

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Tzfat,made an important point regarding Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day. We are to see the similarities between the redemption from Egypt and today.

Every time there was an incident of strife in the desert where G-d was questioned, the troublemakers always accused Moshe Rabbeinu of taking them out from Egypt as if it was his own idea.

We see this before the splitting of the Red Sea, and we saw it when they complained for lack of meat, and it was the excuse for creating the Golden Calf. Each time Hashem had to make it clear that Moshe was the messenger and Hashem in His glory, redeemed us.

Today we must never make this same mistake and attribute the miracle of the State of Israel to anything less than it being ONLY because Hashem decided that now is the time to rebuild the House of Israel.

I was deeply saddened to see the prime minister of Israel being unable or unwilling to give gratitude to Hashem, in a brief Independence Day message. Netanyahu claimed that he’s often asked by world leaders how to explain the establishment and incredible growth of the State of Israel. Instead of sanctifying the Name of G-d by telling all who will hear that we are enjoying G-d’s blessing and that is the only explanation, he praises the citizens of Israel.

It is true that the Jewish people are a great people with intense faith and amazing resilience. However, as we say in the Haggadah, if G-d had not taken us out, we would still be in Egypt no matter how wise and intelligent we were. Now, more than ever, when we have so much to point to and be proud of, we must not forget that without Hashem, none of these achievements would have come to be.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for more than twenty years. He has been teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach, Old Katamon, Jerusalem, for the nearly seventeen years. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles.
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