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Happy Sixty Eighth- Be strong

Today is Israel Independence Day, marking the 68th year since the Jewish State declared its independence in 1948. The day is filled with celebrations, ceremonies, parties and, of course, barbecues. And there’s certainly a lot to celebrate and be thankful for. How could anyone imagine that after nearly 2,000 years of exile and persecution, culminating in a holocaust that destroyed one third of our people, the Jewish people would once again live as a sovereign nation in their homeland? But this is exactly what happened, and continues to happen, through a combination of hard work, ingenuity, sacrifice and Divine intervention.

In the Diaspora, it’s not always easy to appreciate the miracle of the State of Israel. Today is a day pretty much like any other day for most of us, with the exception of a brief ceremony at a synagogue or school, if we can find the time to attend. We’ve grown to take the existence of the Jewish State for granted, probably because Israel has become such a strong and stable country. We know it’s there but we don’t always feel so connected to it.

israeli-n-philippino-016Most of our girls at Lev Lalev were born in Israel, as were their parents. But- their grandparents came from many different places. Israel provides ingathering for Jews the world over. They come from over one hundred countries and speak around 125 different languages.

Over the years new immigrants have arrived in Israel in ships or in planes fleeing hostile conditions. It is an amazing moment to witness a new immigrant walking off a plane to freedom from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, or even France.  Yes- Israel is our homeland, and today we celebrate its Birthday.

May Israel and the entire Jewish nation be blessed with peace, prosperity and unity.

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