Russell P. Subin

Israel Is a Test

The State of Israel is a test from G-d and we are failing. We need to apply ourselves and study our history.

The exam question – What is the relationship between Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence day) and Tisha B’av (the commemoration of the destruction of the Temples). The short answer, Tisa B’av instructs us what can happen to the State of Israel if we continue with Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred).

Miraculously, in 1948, G-d allowed Jews to return to a portion of their homeland to govern themselves. This after 2000 years of exile after the destruction of the Second Temple. Why at this time? One could speculate that after the horrors of Hitler and the Holocaust, G-d thought it was time to return Jews to their Homeland. Perhaps, for the first time since the destruction of the Temples, Jews of all types world wide banded together with themselves and the world to defeat a common enemy and this was their reward. Am Yisroel Chai!

But why not a full redemption including the rebuilding of the Temple? In fact, what was created was a secular state that did not even include the land that the Temples stood on. Jews from all over the world came to support Israel even in its most limited form and those living in Israel were excited to work together to make a great nation. Then, another great miracle in 1967, the State of Israel acquired the Kotel, one step closer to the rebuilding of the Temple. Am Yisroel Chai! However, the Temple mount, still under dispute. Nevertheless, one step closer.

Then an economic boom, a start up nation, with discoveries that make Israel a world envy. Am Yisroel Chai! Possibly another step closer. So where does that leave us now? These incremental steps, many which could have only been accomplished by mini miracles along the way, are no accident. Each event along the way, an ultimate test to see if we are worthy of the rebuilding of the Temple. But what is G-d looking for to get us to the next step? What is his final test for a full redemption?

This is where studying and applying ourselves comes in. If we believe the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred (Sinat Chinam), then we must study and apply ourselves in eliminating it.

Yet, everywhere you look, Sinat Chinam exists – between political parties, religious versus secular, religious versus even more religious, secular versus even more secular, and between individuals in the streets. And dare I say it, even amongst families. I can go on but you all know the list – unfortunately because we are all a part of it. It is so bad that if we disagree with our fellow countrymen we call them Hitler, the very person that tried to destroy us all.

So while celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut, a celebration of a partial step to full redemption, keep in mind Tisha B’av, study it, and act accordingly because we can either move to the next level of full redemption or G-d forbid, a complete failure resulting in another exile. But as a united nation we can have it all. Am Yisroel Chai!

About the Author
Russell Subin is a retired US tax lawyer living in Ra'anana, Israel.
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