Thursday, May 8, 2008

Israel's First Century: A Rumination on the 60th Independance Day

200 hundred years from now, or 500, or a thousand, long after the travails of the present have been resolved, our descendants will look back at Israel's first century with awe, seeing us as the larger than life generations who grasped the already ancient history of the Jews and forced it into new channels. How we rose like ashes after the Shoah and reached achievements unequaled for the previous two millenia. How we faced multitudes of enemies for generations and didn't flinch. How practically alone among the nations created after WWII we preserved democracy and created affluence to compare with those of Europe and North America. How we wrestled a tradition of millenia from its limited domain in the houses of religious learning to vibrant creativity at the service of a sovereign nation. How we reignited the vitality of a battered people and set it on a healthier and richer path. How we made endless idiotic mistakes but created the possibility to correct them. How we bequeathed to our descendants a renewed and exuberant heritage, at the precise moment in history when this was the least likely outcome.

How we came home, and it was good.

1 comment:

Lydia McGrew said...

May it be so.

(P.S. I know this may sound trivial, but I'd be interested in your take on the attempt to get religious Jews to boycott the kids' Bible contest that is this big deal--I gather--at the Israeli Independence Day celebrations, because a Christian Jewish girl was one of the finalist participants. I'd always thought the rule was if your mother is a Jew, you are a Jew, regardless of religious beliefs, but evidently not for these purposes. I gather the boycott didn't get much headway among the kids themselves, though.)