I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three.
Written in 1845 by Robert Browning, How they Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix is the story of an urgent midnight errand. This news would save Aix from her fate, although we are not told what exactly the ‘good news’ was, nor what fate awaited her.
Some one hundred years later, on May 14, 1948, there was more good news, the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. After more than 2.000 years of exile, the Jews were back in their own country.
And yet, more than 70 years later, the good news has not reached the Jews in many Western countries.
The figures tell the sad story.
Some 7.6 million Jews still live in America, more than the 7 million in Israel. Nearly 300,000 Jews are content to live in the United Kingdom and, unbelievably, 120,000 in Germany.
It is time to make sure that the good news is heard loud and clear. Israel is waiting for you. The land has been rescued from foreign invaders, be they Turks or Britons, and is once again flourishing in the hands of its Jewish citizens.
It is true that the pioneers, many fleeing from persecution in Russia and, later, from Germany with the holocaust on the horizon, endured difficult conditions in a barren land. But today Israel offers a better life than most other countries. The land has been brought back to life; water is plentiful. Israel lacks for nothing. The land’s greatest enemy, the Negev Desert, has been beaten back.
Of course, we Jews are used to deserts. Following Moses out of Pharaoh’s Egypt on the way to the Promised Land, a journey that should have taken a week or two, we spent 40 years before finally reaching “home”.
The Negev Desert is more than half of Israel’s total land area. Once a barren emptiness, the introduction of drip irrigation technology back in the 1960’s enabled the desert’s scarce water resources to be used to grow crops.
As Isaiah predicted – The desert will rejoice, and flowers will bloom in the wilderness.
We wait in hope for the world’s Jews to come galloping home.