To the State of Israel and all its inhabitants,,
Within a few months, we will celebrate our 75th birthday. Seventy-five years of development, growth, progress, immigration, and of course along the way we also experienced falls, disagreements, and wars. We have everything.
Our country is beautiful and complex. Sometimes inviting and other times alienating. All at the same time.
We have Jews, Palestinians, Bedouins, Druze, Cherkessk, Muslim, Christian, Israeli born Sabras and New Immigrants - all together make the unique social texture of the State of Israel. If even one of these was missing, the nature of our society would be different.
Our country was always based on values, and the celebration of our 75th birthday allow us a wonderful opportunity to investigate these values and examine them deeply. To check how and where we can be better and amplify the light among us.
One of these values is: justice.
In the book of Deuteronomy 16: 20 it is written: “Justice, justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you”.
The land of Israel was always populated with many people, since the beginning of history. Despite the ongoing divine promise to Abraham and his descendants, to receive this land, it was never empty. There were always people of different nations inhabiting it. When the people of Israel, led by Joshua, entered the land, we witnessed a long series of wars and conquests, which continue, in many ways, until today. At this point of our history, I think it is time to accept it as a fact of life.
Our national goal nowadays is adhering to justice. Human justice, community justice, national justice. Justice for all human beings, especially those who share this land with us, and share the life in the holy land, from the Jordan river until the Mediterranean Sea.
Only when we remember the biblical commandment and pursue justice for all human beings created in the image of God, then we can truly inherit this land, that God promised us, safely.
Rabbi Lana Zilberman Soloway, married to Daniel, a mother of three. Educator, tour guide, facilitator. Director of community engagement and educational projects at “Rabbis for human rights”.