Israeli Values Religious Voices

Letter 9 - Rabbi Dr. Shraga Bar On

To the State of Israel and all its inhabitants,

We are here. Living our daily lives, filled with laughter, crying and routine, all intertwined; celebrating the miracle of a sovereign Jewish State, due to keeping the faith.

 After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.” (Israel’s Declaration of Independence)

Keeping the faith is a sublime value which is spread between the past, the present and the future. 

Keeping faith to the past - loyalty to our mothers and fathers, to the Jewish tradition, adherence to the Sinai covenant, and uncompromising love to this good and demanding land. Knowing that faith, prayer and hope operate even when the horizons seem blocked. 

Keeping the faith in the present - faithfully negotiating, honestly fulfilling our duty to people and God; may what’s ours be ours and what’s not not; loving our neighbors like ourselves, being loyal to one another; extending our hand to the needy, supporting the weak, standing up for justice against wrongdoing. 

Keeping faith to the future - living a vision. Always envisioning the next generations and live while keeping the faith to the sons and the sons of sons and to the daughters and the daughters of the daughters. To do everything in our power to bequeath them a good and preserved land, so they as well, in their turn, will be able to worship and preserve it, and so they also in their turn will keep the faith to the past, and while formulating a new vision for the future.  

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city;

God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace

those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you”. (Isaiah 26, 1-3).

The Midrash states that due to keeping the faith the Israelites were redeemed from Egypt. We know that due to keeping the faith we were able to return to this land and establish a country. Now, we have the sacred responsibility to continue keeping the faith while preserving sovereignty and welfare.


Rabbi Dr. Shraga Bar On

Rabbi Dr. Shraga Bar On, is the Director of the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought and one of the founders of Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis, lecturer of Talmud and Jewish Thought at Shalem College. Sharaga lives in Beit Horon with his wife Vered and their three children.

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