The Greatest Story Ever Told


Last year, more than a thousand people came to a Yom HaAtzmaut ceremony at the Young Israel of Woodmere synagogue in New York. Sivan Rahav-Meir was the keynote speaker. The following excerpts are taken from her remarks.

This week I heard the following question: In another 75 years, where will Israel be? Well, the most predictable thing about the Jewish people is their unpredictability. They break all the rules. There is no precedent for a nation that loses one-third of its people – six million – all at once. But then there is no precedent for a nation that was scattered to the four corners of the earth but kept its faith, its identity, and its homeland, and then rose from the ashes after two thousand years.

Most of the time, we are simply too preoccupied with our daily troubles and internal conflicts to zoom out for a brief moment in order to see the process that is at work. Sure, there are difficulties and setbacks, but the number of casualties from all the wars and terrorist attacks in the State of Israel is the same as the number of Jews who died in Auschwitz in a single month.

It is not unrealistic to predict that the nation of Israel will continue to fulfill all the positive prophecies that are found in the Bible. This is completely realistic. Indeed, these prophecies were read for thousands of years in Yemen and in Morocco, in Poland and in Russia, but for us, these prophecies, such as the following one, have come true: “Old men and women shall yet sit in the streets of Jerusalem… And the streets of Jerusalem shall be filled with boys and girls playing.” These words of the prophet Zechariah have come to pass in the playground in my own neighborhood.

The forecast for Messianic times has been recorded as follows: “The wolf will live with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,” and “Out of Zion shall go forth Torah and the word of the L-rd from Jerusalem.” Israel can and must be the world’s center of peace, creativity, education, and technology. Above all, the start-up nation must lead the world in spiritual start-ups of faith, holiness, and morality.

This week, I met thousands of our friends, Jews and non-Jews alike. I did not know we had so many unofficial ambassadors. Thank you to all of you in the United States who chose to be on our side, the right side of history, even when it’s not always popular to be there.

I am often asked as a journalist to name my biggest scoop. The answer is this: My biggest scoop is the story of the nation of Israel. There is no story more exciting than ours, with more chapters still to come. Yom HaAtzmaut Sameach!

● Translated by Yehoshua Siskin.


Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Yedidya, and their five children, and serves as World Mizrachi’s Scholar- in-Residence. She is a primetime anchor on Channel 2 News, has a column in Israel’s largest newspaper, Yediot Acharonot, and a weekly radio show on Galei Tzahal (Army Radio).

© 2024 World Mizrachi

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