Yom Haatzmaut: 7.3 reasons to love Israel at 73

Posted on April 14, 2021

by Rabbi Alex Freedman

In honor of Israel’s 73rd birthday today, here are 7.3 reasons to feel renewed pride in our Jewish home. (I could do 73, but that would be a Thursday Thesis instead of a Thursday Thought!)

  1. Israel’s ahead-of-the-world vaccination rollout – Israel has successfully vaccinated over half its residents for Covid 19 – 5.3 million people. Nations all over the world look to Israel for insights in returning society to pre-pandemic life.
  1. The Abraham Accords– 2020 saw these agreements signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Soon other Muslim and Arab countries began to normalize relations with Israel too: Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan. We hope more will follow soon.
  1. Nonstop flights– This year United Airlines began flying nonstop flights from O’Hare Airport to Tel Aviv. And vaccinated international tourists can visit again starting May 23rd. Celebrate by joining Beth El’s winter break trip to Israel.
  1. Astounding inventions – Last year Time Magazine included 6 Israeli innovations in its list of 100 best inventions. This includes the City Transformer, a foldable electric vehicle.
  1. Commitment to global natural disaster relief– Israel continues to assist internationally when natural disaster strikes. The Jerusalem Post reports that Israeli drones (Airobotics) will now assist in emergencies in the US by helping to locate survivors during natural disasters.
  1. Dead Sea Scrolls 2.0 – Israeli archaeologists announced last month the discovery of dozens of Dead Sea Scroll fragments, dated around 2000 years ago. The new fragments are thought to be part of a scroll hidden away during the Bar Kochba Revolt in the 2nd century.
  1. Kidney donations to strangers– According to Israel 21c, Israel leads the world in its rate of kidney donations to strangers. Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber’s (Z”L) organization Matnat Chaim has prompted a 400% increase of living kidney transplants there.

And .3 – Shtisel Season 3 – The third season of the hit TV show Shtisel was just released on Netflix! (This is a third of the series, which conveniently rounds to .3).

Israel is not perfect and has room to improve – much like Chicago and the US are imperfect too but we love them nonetheless. But on this day of Israel’s birthday, let’s make sure to celebrate all the blessings of our home in Eretz Yisrael.