1. It is "a winning story", an ethos of strength, unlike the
countless persecutions of our people over 17 centuries,
represented especially by the IDF, its courageous Defense
2. It is "secular", i.e. it does not impose religious
behavior in everyday life of Jews in each community;
3. It has the kind of content which represents youth nowadays:
hi-tech, beaches, entertainment, fashion, Western consumption,
etc., but also maintains a traditional flavor through its
significant historical sites (especially, but not only,
4. It provides symbols we are proud of: flag, anthem (Hatikvah),
Yom Ha'Atsma'ut, Memorial Day, Tu BiShvat... all components of
what we call "civil religion."
Medinat Israel is extremely attractive as a component of Jewish
Identity for all age groups, because:
1. After the reality of the Holocaust, the triumphant creation
of the State and development of the Israeli Nation seem to be
the ultimate physical and spiritual life-response of a
previously powerless People, decimated, indeed almost entirely
2. Israel has the greatest variety and diversity of Jewish
creativity: philosophy, literature, dance (and rikudim),
art, sport (Maccabi!), science (biotechnology, hi-tech,
medicine, physics, etc.), research, Contemporary Jewry, etc.
3. "Everything in Israel is Jewish", based on the essential: the
language (Hebrew), vacations (Jewish holidays), the study at all
levels of basic Jewish sources (Bible and Talmud), landscapes
and biblical cities.
4. Israel and Zionism provided our people with new national
heroes, icons and role models: Herzl, Jabotinsky, Ben-Gurion,
Rabin, Moshe Dayan, Begin, Golda Meir. Tal Brody is not an
everyday sports legend, he's a Zionist Israeli sports
For Maccabi Movement members worldwide, Israel has a level of
additional identification to all those mentioned above. Medinat
Israel is our Movement's world center, with extraordinary
Zionists achievements of our own: the creation of eight
kibbutzim, establishment of Maccabim settlement that presaged
Modi'in, now the fastest growing city in Israel, Kfar Maccabiah,
Maccabi Tzair units in the army and volunteer groups active in
communities of underdeveloped areas.
On this 65th Yom
HaAtzma'ut, may we all be blessed in the joy of witnessing the
further growth and flourishing of our small but great State, in
peace, recognition and acceptance by the Nations of the Earth,
of our dream of a united
Jewish People returned to Eretz Tzion vi'Yirushalayim,
the Land of Zion and of Jerusalem, Eternal Capital of our
May God bless the State of
Israel, which marks the beginning of our national Renaissance,
the rebirth of our pride and our Future as a People.
Chag Ha'Atzma'ut Sameach!
Chazak ve' ematz!
RABBI CARLOS A. TAPIERO
Deputy Director-General & Director of Education
Maccabi World Union
The protection that the State of Israel affords to Jews -- not only
its own citizens, but also of Jews in Diaspora countries --
transcends borders; Israel has always asserted a global interest in
the protection of Jewish lives and rights.
Isaiah II, 3.
Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg (18
August 1856 - 2 January 1927), primarily known by his Hebrew
name and pen name, Ahad Ha'am (Hebrew: אחדהעם,
lit. one of the people, Genesis 26:10), was a Hebrew essayist,
and one of the foremost pre-state Zionist thinkers. He is known as
the founder of Cultural Zionism. With his secular vision of a Jewish
"spiritual center" in Palestine, he confronted Theodor Herzl. Unlike
Herzl, the founder of Political Zionism, Ha'am strived for "a Jewish
State, not merely a State of Jews".
Amongst many others, in the works of Barry Chazan and Ilan Ezrachi.