On the knife for cutting the Shabbat challah of Baal HaSulam—Kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag—were engraved the words, “State of Israel.” Although the Independence Day of the State of Israel has no Kabbalistic background, the establishment of the State of Israel was of great importance to Baal HaSulam.
In the eyes of the Kabbalist, the reestablishment of the State of Israel in the land of Israel was a great step and cornerstone toward the fulfillment of the eternal Jewish vision. Two thousand years after the destruction of the Temple, when unfounded hatred broke out among Jews and we were scattered to all corners of the world, we finally founded once again a state to realize our role as the Israeli nation: to be “a light unto nations” – a model of the correct path for all mankind.
The Zionism of Baal HaSulam was not the Zionism we know, and it did not advocate one party or another. It focused on the goal for realization of the plan of creation, a plan in which the Jews play a central and significant role. From one Independence Day to the next, Baal HaSulam tried to navigate the compass and guide the Jewish people in his writings to fulfill their spiritual destiny.
Independence Day is also of great personal significance to me. Thanks to the establishment of the State of Israel, I was able to immigrate to Israel. And I share the aspirations of Baal HaSulam for the establishment of an exemplary people on Israeli soil. Let us be united as one man in one heart toward that goal. For only in this way will great and positive forces be able to arise among us, superior forces that we will spread to all the nations of the world from the strength of our unity as Israel.
I was recently pleased to hear that 90%of Israelis said in a new poll that they are proud to be Jewish. Without such national pride it is impossible to move forward. However, we should feel this pride as both a reward and an obligation.
While we are rewarded with the exalted role that awaits us, with the distinction of being a special link in the chain of humanity, it comes with an obligation to continue along the path, because we are only in the middle and we must reach the end. Our destination is to reach the state of mutual guarantee between us and then to transmit the power that comes from our unity to the whole world.
We have a heavy and significant work to carry out, and the nations of the world sense this within the contents of the internal global network that connects us all. Year by year, people put increasing pressure on us to push and force us to fulfill our destiny. Sometimes the people of the world relate to us negatively in the form of antisemitic statements, and sometimes they relate positively in the form of expressions of appreciation and a desire for cooperation. But whether from one side or another, the world is steering us toward one clear point: that Israel must be a unique people, upright before God, a people directly connected to and aligned with the revelation the Supreme Force.
Considering the darker side of the recent survey was the admission that about 33% of the respondents, young people aged 24-34, said they were considering leaving Israel. It is the intense stress and pressure, the danger and threat, and, most importantly, the lack of foreseeing a positive future that empower these thoughts of leaving Israel. They all stem from a lack of knowledge and appreciation of our indispensable role as a people, our destiny as a nation, and our responsibility to some nine billion people of the world.
Both the younger and older generations—in fact, all of us without exception—need to go through a maturing process. Simply understanding our role as taught by Baal HaSulam in his writings—a direct continuation of the message of a long chain of Kabbalists stretching back to the birth of our people— will already neutralize the latent contempt some of us may feel for our role. This deeper perception will elevate us and clarify for us how to build among ourselves and later in the world a reformed society.