Israeli Values Religious Voices

Letter 33 - Rabbi Rodrigo Baumworcel

To the State of Israel and all its inhabitants,

It is important to remember that the State of Israel of today is a result of imagination. Imagination of many people that dreamt it together.

For thousands of years, the people of Israel tried to fulfill the vision that is embodied in our prayers: “Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old” (Lamentations 5, 21).

The love for the past of the Jewish people and the desire to return the crown to its former glory, made us, as a people, to lose our way. We fell into a deep hole of selfishness, we got drunk from power and we forgot the verse we say before returning the Torah scroll back to the ark: "Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace (Proverbs 3, 17)."

Great is the peace that the God carries its name, the God of peace. Great is the peace that resembles a dream, without it there is no life, no society and no existence. 

I made Aliyah (immigration) to Israel of peace. I came here because I had a dream about a better life for me and my children. I am a big believer in dreams, and therefore, I am positive that we can fulfill the ultimate dream: “May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels” (Psalm 122, 7).

The vision of the State of Israel, as it appears in the Declaration of Independence is a vision of peace and tranquility among its inhabitants, residents and citizens. This is the country of my choice, and if it’s not fully built yet, then I need to build it. 

In honor of Israel’s 75th birthday, there is still a long way ahead of us, including hard work, big dreams that have not come true yet, and other actions of peace and unity. It is important to think before we act. 

I hope that we will succeed and continue to dream about a shared future, with our eyes wide open, just like Theodor Hertzl wrote in his book, “Altenueland” : “We don’t discriminate. We don’t ask for a person’a religion or race. A person is a person, that is more than enough”.  

May we use our imagination to the fullest and may we make our dreams come true. 


Rabbi Rodrigo Baumworcel

Rabbi Rodrigo Baumworcel was born in Brazil, ordained at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. He leads a congregation in Tel Aviv, “Kehilat Halev”. He is a teacher of Jewish, Zionist and Humanistic values.

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