Rabbi Oury Cherki
Independence Day - The Final Redemption
Letter to Noachides. Translated from French. Published at the Noahide World Center website.
From the time that the State of Israel has come into existence, it continues to upset many of the people who live all over the globe, in a way that is very much out of proportion to the size of our country, and is in fact out of proportion to the importance of the conflict in the Middle East as a whole. We may well ask: Why is this so?
The truth of the matter is that we cannot ignore that the dominant portion of human culture is an heir of the many past generations of Christianity. Even after the western world stopped being Christian in practice, the thought processes of the Christian world and the Christian traditions and their frameworks have continued to exist in the collective subconscious of the western world. What, then, is the significance of the State of Israel from the point of view of the Christian world?
We note that we have witnessed a complete theological revolution. For many generations, the Christian church taught that the lowly status of the Jewish nation is proof of the truth of Christianity. But then, in the middle of the twentieth century, the State of Israel suddenly appeared.
In modern times, an event of Biblical proportions is taking place right before our eyes. We can see that history really is the fulfillment of a plan. Perhaps the Tanach can be used as the instrument that can teach us how to read history. But this brings us to a second point, something quite troublesome. It may well be that the way that the Jews read the Tanach is right. But this leads to huge questions about all the content that is the basis for the approach of the Christian world (and in its wake, the western world). Thus, the communications media are obsessed with the State of Israel. They always want to know exactly what is happening here, they often misrepresent Israel and try to show that it is the most evil country in the world. But the truth is that we are the best country in the world, we are the only country that in spite of almost seventy years of constant warfare has remained democratic and continues to treat a hostile minority in a fair way. It is in fact not just a minority but one that openly desires the destruction of the country,
However, we remain fair and just. That is the truth in spite of all the accusations, in spite of everything that appears in the world media. And we are left with a worldwide challenge – could it be that Israel is right, that it was indeed taught through a tradition handed down from its forefathers and prophets that it should be a beacon of moral light that will brighten the path of the world?
The time has finally come for us to recognize the truth. As one example, take the event that we are celebrating at this time, Israeli Independence Day. If we think about this a bit we will see that it is even greater than the Exodus from Egypt. This can be seen from the following reasoning:
At the time of the Exodus we left one nation behind. But now we are celebrating our leaving more than a hundred and fifty different nations. The Exodus took place after two hundred years of exile, while the State of Israel was established after two thousand years of exile. Finally, we come to the most important point. The Exodus was the start of a temporary period of freedom. Eight hundred years after it took place the country that was founded in its wake was destroyed. The First and Second Temples were both destroyed. The return from Europe, on the other hand, is an eternal redemption that will not be followed by any other exile, as was promised to us by our fathers, our teachers, and our prophets. As the prophet Jeremiah told us, "Behold, days are coming, G-d declares, when people will no longer swear as G-d lives, who took us out of Egypt" [23:7]. That is, when a person takes an oath he will no longer refer to the G-d who took us out of Egypt, but rather "as G-d lives, who brought back the seed of the House of Israel from the north and from all the other lands where He dispersed them" [23:8]. Thus, Yom Haatzmaut – Israel Independence Day – will be recognized as part of our national heritage.
Even for the typical modern Israeli Yom Haatzmaut has become more central an event than the holiday of Passover and the Exodus from Egypt. It is clear that we have arrived at a wondrous era, when the prophetic predictions for the future have become the present (and in some cases the recent past).
Let the day soon come, as described by the prophet Ezekiel, when the following will be declared: "And I will be exalted and sanctified, and I will be recognized in the eyes of many nations, and they will know that I am G-d" [38:23].