The State of Israel is prophecy in action!
Thus said the Lord G-d: …you, O mountains of Israel, shall yield your produce and bear your fruit for My people Israel, for their return is near. For I will care for you: I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will settle a large population on you, the whole House of Israel; the towns shall be resettled, and the ruined sites rebuilt. I will multiply men and beasts upon you, and they shall increase and be fertile, and I will resettle you as you were formerly, and will make you more prosperous than you were at first. And you shall know that I am the Lord. I will lead… My people Israel to you, and they shall possess you. You shall be their heritage, and you shall not again cause them to be bereaved. (Ezek. 36:8-12)
14 May 1948 State of Israel proclaimed
The book of Ezekiel contains a dual prophecy to the People of Israel. In its first part, G-d tells the Jewish People that the land assigned to them will remain desolate as long as it is occupied by strangers, and they remain in exile. And so it was – a bleak, barren, undeveloped land – for over 2000 years. In the second half of the prophecy, G-d describes the signs of the incipient redemption – how the land would appear just before the Jewish People would return forever. This part of the promise, too, began to come true, during the decades preceding the establishment of the Jewish state in Eretz Israel. This is the State of Israel, referred to in a Jewish prayer as the “first flowering of our redemption”. From the deep sleep of oblivion in the absence of its sons and daughters, the land finally awakened.
On May 14, 1948 the State of Israel was declared and G-d’s promise that the Jewish people would again be sovereign in their land was fulfilled. The long anticipation, the pain and the yearning merged into that old-new entity, an independent Jewish state in the Jewish homeland. The new State of Israel marked the end of the 2000-year-old exile.
Today Jewish people from all over the world continue to return to Israel, where cities that were once destroyed by their enemies have been rebuilt and where the soil is bursting with fruit, trees and flowers, just as the prophet Ezekiel had foretold. According to Rashi, the great medieval commentator on the Bible and Talmud, “When the Land of Israel gives its fruit abundantly, the redemption will be imminent, and there can be no more manifest redemption than this.” The unfaltering faith in G-d’s promise that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would return to their homeland was reflected in the wording of the Proclamation of Independence:
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