“Out of the darkness came forth light, and out of concealment came forth and revealed the deep. One came out of the other. Out of good came forth bad, and out of mercy came forth judgment. Everything is included in one another, the good inclination and the bad inclination, right and left, Israel and the rest of the nations, white and black. Everything depends on one another.”
– The Zohar, Kedoshim, 7-8.
Kabbalists are adding to the celebration of Israel’s 70 years of Statehood an additional reason to celebrate: that in the State of Israel, a major spiritual resurgence is starting to take shape after 2,000 years of spiritual exile.
Darkness and light, descents and ascents, exile and glory, are all characteristic of the people of Israel, ancient and modern. We have enjoyed states of blossoming unity and brotherly love at the time of the First and Second Temples. We have endured states of bitter defeat, where unfounded hatred breached our unity, allowing the Roman Empire to take advantage of our disunity and bring about the ruin of the Temple.
In exile, even while detached and dispersed around the world, we found ways to prosper and develop the countries we settled in, making our mark in education, economics, science, technology, law, and society. However, while doing so, since there is a seeded expectation in humanity’s subconscious upon the people of Israel to bring a completely different kind of prosperity and growth than the materialistic version we’ve brought till now, then we’ve been plagued with the constant phenomenon of anti-Semitism: from slander and blood libel to the devastating pogroms and the Holocaust.
After the utter horror millions of our ancestors experienced in the Holocaust, the world had mercy on us and supported the establishment of our new national home: the State of Israel. However, not even a single day passed of relishing our independence, and we were once again at war to hold onto what we were given.
70 years have passed. Wars and instability with our every neighboring nation have spurred our development of a well-equipped army and what has been ranked as the world’s mightiest air force. Struggles to build infrastructure and develop exports on a land that provides little natural resources has catalyzed our becoming one of the most technologically advanced nations.
All that remains is to rekindle the national love that is dwindling, to revive the national essence that has been inactive for 2,000 years, to reawaken ourselves to unity and illuminate the light that humanity subconsciously expects from us.
Therefore, I’m very happy that on Israel’s 70 years of independence, we have been given a golden opportunity to proudly carry the wisdom of truth and publicize it. After 2,000 years of ups and downs, light and darkness, glory and exile, the veil has been lifted over the wisdom of Israel—the wisdom of Kabbalah—and we are becoming ripe to start using it to realize our true role in the world: to achieve “love your friend as yourself” and “each shall help his friend” in order to become “a light unto nations.”
As with a fruit’s development, our external skin has been getting tougher, yet the sweet inner part is still hidden within. The time has come to learn how we can peel off this skin and expose the sweet, inner part of Israel to the world.
The annual shift from Yom HaZikaron, the day we pay homage to Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, to Independence Day, when we celebrate the establishment of the State of Israel, is symbolic of the way we can only experience a rise after a preceding fall. The people of Israel experience darkness and light adjacently, and we gain discernments from these combined states. Our remembrance and our independence are as one, in the morning we mourn and in the evening we cheer. “And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:5).