The Rabbi’s Top Ten Israeli History Events

In celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, here (chronologically) is my compilation of the most significant events in the history of modern Israel:

1. Balfour Declaration– The dream comes into view, after intense lobbying.

2. United Nations Partition Vote– The dream becomes reality.

3. Declaration of Independence– A Jewish homeland after 2000 years.

4. War of Independence– Israel will have to fight for her existence, but prevails.

5. Six Day War– Modern Israel is like the ancient Maccabees.

6. Yom Kippur War– The illusion of invincibility is gone, but invasion is stayed.

7. Entebbe– Miracles do happen; a first class military helps.

8. Begin’s Election– A Polish Irgun leader becomes the voice of the second Israel.

9. Sadat’s Visit– Euphoria that peace is always possible.

10. Rabin’s handshake/assassination– When euphoria gives way to despair.

About the Author
Barry L. Schwartz is director of The Jewish Publication Society in Philadelphia and rabbi of Congregation Adas Emuno in Leonia, New Jersey. He is the author, most recently, of "Judaism's Great Debates: Timeless Controversies from Abraham to Herzl" (2012).