Israel turns 61

“May 14 of ‘48, Israel became a state.”

Happy birthday, Israel. May God save you, prosper you, always defend you. May God draw his people out of dispersion and back to His land.

Messiah said these prophetic words in Matthew 23:

Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim! You who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai!” (Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.)

Not 40 years after Messiah’s death was Jerusalem and the Holy Temple left desolate, burned to the ground by the Romans in 70 CE, as prophesied by Daniel the prophet.

The early Jewish historian Josephus described the unsettling horrors:

“The Romans, though it was a terrible struggle to collect the timber, raised their platforms in twenty-one days, having as described before stripped the whole area in a circle round the town to a distance of ten miles. The countryside like the City was a pitiful sight; for where once there had been a lovely vista of woods and parks there was nothing but desert and stumps of trees. No one - not even a foreigner - who had seen the Old Judea and the glorious suburbs of the City, and now set eyes on her present desolation, could have helped sighing and groaning at so terrible a change; for every trace of beauty had been blotted out by war, and nobody who had known it in the past and came upon it suddenly would have recognized the place: when he was already there he would still have been looking for the City.

depiction of the destruction of Jerusalem

These Romans put the Jews to flight, and proceeded as far as the holy house itself. At which time one of the soldiers, without staying for any orders, and without any concern or dread upon him at so great an undertaking, and being hurried on by a certain divine fury, snatched some what out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house, on the north side of it. As the flames went upward, the Jews made a great clamor, such as so mighty an affliction required, and ran together to prevent it; and now they spared not their lives any longer, nor suffered anything to restrain their force, since that holy house was perishing . . . thus it was the holy house burnt down . . . Nor can one imagine any thing greater or more terrible than this noise; for there was at once a shout of the Roman Legions, who were marching all together, and a sad clamor of the seditious, who were now surrounded with fire and sword.

The people under a great consternation, made sad moans at the calamity they were under. Yet was the misery itself more terrible than this disorder; for one would have thought that the hill itself, on which the Temple stood, was seething hot, as full of fire on every part of it.

To give a detailed account of their outrageous conduct is impossible, but we may sum it up by saying that no other city has ever endured such horrors, and no generation in history has fathered such wickedness. In the end they brought the whole Hebrew race into contempt in order to make their own impiety seem less outrageous in foreign eyes, and confessed the painful truth that they were slaves, the dregs of humanity, bastards, and outcasts of their nation.

It is certain that when from the upper city they watched the Temple burning they did not turn a hair, though many Romans were moved to tears.”

After the horrors of the destruction of the Temple, and after 2000 years of dispersion, captivity, pogroms, persecution, and the Holocaust, finally on May 14, 1948, Jews returned to Israel to become an independent, Jewish nation. And it wasn’t until 1967 was Jerusalem again in Jewish hands.

As a remembrance of this miraculous event, I put together a medley from several songs and recordings, mixing the 1948 UN vote to recreate the state of Israel, recordings from the 1967 reclaiming of the Old City of Jerusalem, and a stirring rendition of Messiah’s words in Matthew 23. Enjoy:

Barry & Batya Segal – Israeli Independence Mix

God’s doing something, fine blog readers. God’s restoring Israel. In this day, right now. This generation. And we’re part of it! What a sight to see!

Happy 61st birthday, Israel! May the Temple be rebuilt in our day! May Israel be restored to Messiah soon and in our day! Amen!


  1. Amen Amen Judah! What a mighty comfort it is, to see Israel, existing, surviving, and prospering, in our lifetime, with our own eyes. How blessed we are to be able to pray for her, knowing she is a testament to the character of our G-d, and to the absolute authority of His promises to us!


  2. Amein, P.H. Atherton. Am Yisrael Chai!

    When we celebrated Yom HaZikron right before Yom HaAtzmut (not translating, so you all can look it up and learn two new Hebrew words, or three if you don't know yom), one of my ulpan teachers held a ceremony and spoke to our English-speaker's ulpan class and another in a crammed classroom.

    She told us how she lost some of her family in the Shoah and that her parents came to Israel where she was born, and she described what she experienced in her early school years during some of the wars.

    She told us what it meant to her family, and of course many other families, to have a Jewish nation - to have our own country. What actually that meant to them all was huge. She told them its a greater desire that drowns out the many struggles that face the country.

    She then told us how much she appreciated all of us, those who have come here for good and those who simply came there for a limited period of time; saying how much it meant to her personally that we have come to be part of Israel, and have come to join the struggle.

    There were lots of tears among most people - and I can truly say I felt honored to hear that. As calloused and outwardly stern Israelis are naturally, inwardly they appreciate and are much softer than you would imagine.

    There's an atmosphere in Israel at times like these that is like nothing else. You can almost feel exactly what happened in all the wars, and feel the ascent of the soldiers in the '67 war who conquered the Har HaBayit and put it back into rightful hands, once again.

  3. Gday Aharon! Thanks, I know Yom Hazikaron, in fact I had the honour of attending the YH gathering in Melbourne for the 60 year anniversary stuff last year. I blogged about the experience here, if you have time.

    I wish I'd gone to some Yom HaAtzmut celebrations, I hear they're much more fun. I did take my daughter to a Jewish family day at the local Jewish school, she was doing her own school project on Israel. How proud can a dad be! My 12 year old the Zionist. She stood in front of a class of kids at a secular, politically correct school and honoured Israel.

    Anyways, attending the Yom Hazikaron evening lead me to the group Australian Christians Supporting Israel, which is now growing and it's a real privilege to represent them.

    The stories which came out that evening were inspiring and heart-wrenching. I saw something I'd never seen. In Australia, we're proud of our war heroes because we know we were "right". But, with the exception of some struggles in the Pacific in WWII, we have never had to directly struggle for our very survival. Israel has to do this every decade. We just don't get it.

    On that evening, they played this very montage of images from the 2006 Lebanon war to the song "Arim Roshi". It was so moving. I don't think any of the Jews sitting around me could understand why this gentile was going for the tissues!

    G-d bless Israel. Even the hatred she experiences is mighty evidence that He is coming for her. Cheers all!

  4. This is beautiful brother. As a Gentile, I am so grateful to the God of Israel's fathers, and am honored to see with my own eyes His people in their land, in my life time...and to have meaningful relationships with those in the House of Israel..Baruch Hashem...Israel Lives amen, amen