Apr 12, 2021

Start-Up Nation

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In 2009, Dan Senor and Saul Singer published Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, which became a best-seller. Senor and Singer concluded that the two factors that contribute the most to Israel’s disproportionate success in the economic realm are mandatory military service and the influx of brainpower from millions of immigrants.

Israeli innovations that help solve global problems are headline news all over the world. In 2019, Israel365 News reported that nine of TIME’s Top 100 inventions came from Israel. That’s an impressive statistic from a small, young country like Israel.

Israel365 News consistently reports on Israeli innovations like corona-killing tunnels, using plentiful and protein-filled locusts to solve world hunger, and using Israeli-developed technology to fight drought in Africa.

Start-Up Nation In The Bible

Senor and Singer’s conclusion that Israel’s success as a Start-Up Nation has nothing to do with either the uniqueness of the Jewish people or the exceptional talents of individual Israelis is discordant with the perspective of the Bible.

Part of the role of the Jewish people is to serve as Or LaGoyim  – a light to the Nations. This role was assigned to the Jewish people by the Creator of the universe. The prophet Isaiah speaks of it in three different verses.

For He has said: “It is too little that you should be My servant In that I raise up the tribes of Yaakov And restore the survivors of Yisrael: I will also make you a light of nations, That My salvation may reach the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

I Hashem, in My grace, have summoned you, And I have grasped you by the hand. I created you, and appointed you A covenant people, a light of nations— Isaiah 42:6

And nations shall walk by your light, Kings, by your shining radiance.Isaiah 60:3

On one level, Isaiah is explaining that the Jewish people are charged with sharing the universal wisdom of Torah on topics such as compassion, justice, and charity, in order to make the world a better place.

On another level, it means that the Jewish people have a role to play in helping to solve global problems. Seen as the religious destiny of the Nation of Israel, the ingathering of the exiles that occurred when the State of Israel was established in 1948, created the conditions necessary to help make that happen.

Thus, the Start-Up Nation is a modern phenomenon whose ancient roots go all the way back to the Bible.