We stand at the opening of Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) and Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut). We stand in this place with mixed feelings – joy, blessing, and pride, mixed with sadness.
The joy is that God has brought us back from the four corners of the earth to the land of Israel! And thanks to Him, today we stand here proudly as an eternal people, who have been living in the State of Israel for 71 years.
The sadness comes when we remember the fallen. And today, on Memorial Day, as a people and as a nation, we will stand in silence when we remember those heroes who sacrificed their lives in defending our country. They did this for us and for the generations to come. Their sacrifice compels us to live our lives to the full, in honor of them.
But the battle is not yet over. At the end of last week we witnessed the latest round of violence, which included launching more than 600 rockets from the Gaza Strip at civilian targets in Israel (which is absurd and totally unacceptable!).
Our understanding is that there will always be tension in the Middle East – as long as there are people who want to kill us, and as long as we Jews do not want to die. Neither side is willing to compromise.
We stand here as a people formed from all corners of the earth. We stand in an independent state. We stand here and fulfill the great dream of all the prophets. We stand here and realize the return to Zion!
In this spirit, it is our duty to be united and to stand boldly on the right to be a free people in our country. In this spirit, it is your duty, as fellow disciples, to stand courageously with us, against the growing voices of Antisemitism in the world. The Anti-Defamation League’s annual report on Antisemitic incidents documented 1,879 attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions in the United States alone in 2018.
This is a call to disciples around the world to wake up and stand by us. Isaiah the prophet calls upon us to stand guard (Isaiah 62), to stand on the walls of the city of Jerusalem, not to rest or be silent until the righteousness of our path, the righteousness of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, is shining, clear, and known to all.
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.” – Isaiah 62:1 [NIV]
The meaning of this passage is that we are commanded to not stop praying, for Jerusalem’s sake, to not stop talking about Jerusalem, to not stop sharing on Facebook (or elsewhere), even if it is not politically correct, even when it is not pleasant for us. We are in the midst of a war of ideas that the world has never known before.
The United Nations ignored the archeology, though it is as clear as day, ignored all the artifacts that were found documenting the people of Israel, the Old City of Jerusalem, the soundness and the truth of the Bible, and stated that Jerusalem has no Jewish connection and history. This year, Arabic-speaking news stations showed pictures of the Holocaust and claimed that those murdered were Arabs murdered by Jews.
It sounds absurd to us, but people are beginning to believe it, and the question is, what will people believe in a few years when the last of the Holocaust survivors will die? When there will be no more witnesses to the horrors of the Holocaust? Will half of humanity believe that the victims were Arabs murdered by Jews?
Therefore I will raise up Jerusalem and will not rest until the light of its righteousness and its salvation will be seen by all. It’s my job as a believer, it’s my responsibility!
In this spirit, on Independence Day, we will salute our fallen brothers and sisters and look forward with a sense of dignity and security as we march, with God’s help, towards a future of renewal, prosperity, and peace.
Wishing you a happy Independence Day for the State of Israel, in the name of Yeshua the Messiah, and by His grace, amen and amen.