Happy Birthday Israel!

Tonight marks Israel's 62nd Independence Day. I still remember being in Israel for it's 25th birthday and seeing the Air Force fly-over in the shape of the letters "caf" and "hey". It is truly remarkable to celebrate with Israel and recognize its accomplishments.

Israel has grown from 600,000 to over 7 million citizens. It is in the forefront of science and technology. It has developed security and military technology.

Yet aside from its achievements is the tragedy of the lack of true peace with its neighbors. That alone affected Israel's relationship with other nations. Israel's roots, our roots, call for living in peace - as the psalmist said, "how good it is for brothers to dwell together". The religious, political, and historical complexities of Israel's existence only heighten its place in world affairs. We can easily pray for peace, but it is much more difficult to make it happen.

As Donniel Hartman argued in the piece below, it is easy to advocate for Israel, it's much more important to engage with Israel. May this Independence Day inspire us to reflect on our relationship with Israel and may it lead us to become more engaged in its life and vitality.