Independence Day 5777

Years ago Rav Meir Kahane used to begin his lecture tour with the following opening statement: "Anyone who has witnessed the events since 1948 and does not see the Hand of G-d, is not a non-believer, is not a scoffer, he is blind!"

This quote has been stuck in my mind this Yom Haatzmaut as Israel celebrates its 69th birthday. The accomplishments of this little country in such a relatively short amount of time, is nothing less than miraculous.

I was privileged to hear Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Tzfat rattle off these miracles in the context of prophecies made over 2500 years ago. Some of his observations:

-The Jewish population in 1800 was only 7000 and in 1920, roughly 50,000. By 1948, the population rose to 650,000 and in 2017, nearly 6,500,000.

-There is a prophecy regarding the widening of the roads to Jerusalem. Our transport minister, Yisrael Katz, told Rav Eliyahu that his purpose in building a Tel Aviv-Jerusalem speed train, and the widening of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, is in preparation of the building of the Beit Hamikdash.

-Israel is considered the eighth superpower in the world militarily, when we had only a makeshift army in 1948.

-According to Rav Eliyahu, the birth rate of Jewish women has surpassed that of Arab women, when once the average for the Arabs was 9.1.

-The number of countries desiring to have diplomatic relations has been rapidly increasing, where the nations of the world want to glean from Israel's wisdom and technological advances.

-A final point that is so significant is that the growth of the State of Israel, proves that G-d has not rejected the Jewish people. On the contrary, Israel is the number one reason for the huge increase in non-Jews flooding our Jewish courts seeking conversion. As a rabbi, it has become easier to prove G-d's existence, by simply pointing to our modern day miracles.

Indeed, anyone who doesn't see the Hand of G-d that we are witnessing today, has to be blind. We must give thanks to Hashem that we have merited seeing the fulfillment of these prophecies in our lifetime. Chag Atzmaut Sameach!

Yesterday was twenty with ספירת העומר