(JNS) Israeli President Isaac Herzog shared a message with global Jewry as the Jewish state marked its 75th Independence Day:
“Shalom, dear friends from around the world! As Israel reaches a historic milestone—75 years of independence!—we have the opportunity to pause and reflect with gratitude on the miracle that is our Jewish and democratic state.
“Of course, this time of celebration comes at a moment of reckoning, what we call in Hebrew cheshbon nefesh, for the State of Israel and the Jewish people at large. Like many democratic societies around the world, our collective, within Israel and between Israel and our global Jewish communities, has been facing real questions about who we are, and what we would wish for our beloved country.
“Of course, we must not forget that asking ourselves questions about our identity and our joint purpose is a gift. Having a country to shape together, to share together, to argue over, even, was a distant dream not long ago. And it is a blessing that we should not take for granted.
“So dear friends, these turbulent times, are highlighting just how much we have built in this country over these past 75 years, and just how precious it is to so many. It is highlighting the deep caring of millions of people inside Israel and beyond it, to whom our country profoundly matters. And it is just that quality of deep caring that has helped our people survive and thrive for millennia.
“Dear friends, let us come together at this meaningful moment to celebrate everything we have built together and everything that we have yet to build. May we all have a wonderful Independence Day for the State of Israel! Best wishes to you all from the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
“Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach, friends!”