The Jewish State
In The Jewish heart
A Jewish spirit still sings,
And the eyes look east
Our hope is not lost,
Our hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our land,
In the land of Zion and Jerusalem
The title of the Israeli national anthem is HATIKVA, which means "The Hope." Hatikva is about "hope," the undying
hope of the Jewish people, through the long years of exile, that they would someday return to independence in their homeland.
During the two thousand years of exile, the Jewish people always kept a heartfelt prayer in their hearts for return to Israel. They said special daily prayers for return
and they celebrated the holidays according to Israeli seasons and calendar. This is the message of the Hatikvah's first stanza.
Zion is another name for Israel and Jerusalem. When the Jewish people pray their eyes, hearts and prayers
are directed toward Israel and Jerusalem.
For many long painful years, the land of Israel
was in the hands of foreigners. The Jews who lived in Palestine
were not free. Yet their hope for freedom and independence never died. The second stanza of the Hatikva recalls the undying
hope of Jews through the generation, Jews who lived in other countries and Jews who had remained in Palestine.
When we sing the Hatikva together, we are doing much more than just singing a nice melody. We are making a promise
that we will never forget the undying Jewish hope for independence and that we will do all within our power to help the State
of Israel prosper.
The Declaration Of The Establishment
Of The State Of Israel (May 14, 1948)
ERETZ-ISRAEL (the Land of Israel) was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political
identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance
and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books. After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it
throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their
political freedom. Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish
themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses. Pioneers, ma'pilim (immigrants coming
to Eretz-Israel in defiance of restrictive legislation) and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language,
built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing
how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent
The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people - the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe - was another
clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish
State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully
privileged member of the community of nations. This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their
own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.
ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE
ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE
OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DECLARE
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL.
WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath,
the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance
with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the
People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall
be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel".
THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the
development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged
by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective
of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard
the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and
appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.
The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.
WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration
and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream - the redemption of Israel.
PLACING OUR TRUST IN THE ALMIGHTY, WE AFFIX OUR SIGNATURES TO THIS PROCLAMATION AT THIS SESSION OF THE PROVISIONAL
COUNCIL OF STATE, ON THE SOIL OF THE HOMELAND, IN THE CITY OF TEL-AVIV, ON THIS SABBATH EVE, THE 5TH DAY OF IYAR, 5708 (14TH
Law of Return
Right of aliyah:
"Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh."
Aliyah means immigration of Jews, and oleh (plural: olim) means a Jew immigrating to Israel. The Law of Return was
passed by the Knesset on the 20th Tammuz, 5710 (5th July, 1950).
The Israeli Flag
In 1948, after nearly two thousand years of exile, the State of Israel
was reestablished as the Jewish homeland. The new Israeli flag of the modern state has been a symbol of the proud return of
the Jewish Nation to its homeland.
How the Israeli Flag Was Chosen?
The Israeli flag was born at the First Zionist Congress in 1897.
The zionist leaders saw in the talith, the traditional Jewish prayer shawl, the flag of the Jewish Nation. The blue
and white talith with which the Jews wrap themselves when they pray: that is the Jewish symbol.
This talith was taken from its bag and unrolled before the eyes of Israel and the eyes of all nations. A blue and
white flag with the Shield of David painted upon it. That is how the Israeli national flag, that flew over the First Zionist
Congress, came into being.
The blue stripes above and below the Magen David remind us of the talith. When we see the Israeli flag, we remember
the faith and the prayers of the many generations of Jews who longed for the return to their homeland.
The Magen David
The Magen David (Shield of David) is a traditional symbol of Judaism. The star is made up of two triangles, one right-side
up and the other upside down. One of them points upward toward all that is spiritual and holy. The other one points downward--toward
all that is earthly and secular. By leading a life of Torah and mitzvot the Jew strives to bring together the worlds of spiritual
and the earthly, the worlds of the holy and the secular.
Legend tells us that King David, the King of Israel, adorned his shield with this six-pointed star, thus the star
is named the Magen David.
1492 Jews are expelled from Spain. Columbus, with conversos Jews aboard, reaches
the New World.
1500s Rise of Kabbalah in Safed, Palestine.
1628 First Jews settle in Barbados,
an English colony. By 1710 there are two synagogues on the island.
1648-49 Chmielnicki cossack massacres in Poland.
1650 Twelve Jewish families granted permission to settle in Curacao. Jews settle in Jamaica,
permitted to own land and practice their religion.
1654 Jews expelled from Brazil;
twenty-three land in New Amsterdam.
1655 Jews allowed to resettle in England from which they had been barred since 1290.
1700s Rise of Hasidism in Russia
1732 Congregation Mickve Israel,
oldest synagogue in Western Hemisphere, built in Curacao.
1760 Jewish merchants and their families settle in New Orleans.
1791 Jews granted citizenship in France. Beginning of Jewish Emancipation in Europe.
1820s Rise of Reform Judaism in Germany.
1840 Jews in Damascus,
Syria, are accused of blood libel, arousing world reaction.
1858 Edgardo Mortara, a little boy, is abducted in Italy after forced conversion, creating world-wide protests.
1868 Benjamin Disraeli becomes English prime minister. Queen Victoria makes him Earl of Beaconsfield.
1881 Czar Alexander II assassinated in St. Petersburg, Russia. Pogroms and persecution
of Jews follows, and immigration to America
is accelerated. Two million Eastern European Jews will emigrate to America
1894 French staff officer Alfred Dreyfus is convicted of treason and
imprisoned on Devil's Island in the Caribbean. He is later
1896 Theodore Herzl founds political Zionism; First World Zionist Congress
1917 Balfour Declaration pledges British support for Jewish national
homeland. United States enters world War
I against Germany. Russian Revolution.
1919 Jewish delegations to the Paris Peace Conference after World War
I seek minority rights for European Jews.
1922 British Mandate on Palestine
(Land of Israel)
approved by League of Nations.
1929 Arab rioters kill sixty-seven Jewish settlers in Hebron, British Mandate Palestine.
1931 Three million Jews live in Poland, making it the largest Jewish population outside the U.S.
1933 Rise of Adolph Hitler. German Nazis proclaim general boycott of
all Jewish businesses.
1935 Germans pass Nuremberg Laws restricting legal and civil rights of
invades Poland, starting World War II.
Steamship St. Louis. carrying 907 Jewish German refugees,
is turned back by U.S. and Cuba. U.S.
Jewish population estimated at 4,770,000.
1940 Nazis establish ghettos in Poland.
1941 Einsatzgruppen (special units) follow German troops into Soviet Union, perpetuating systematic murder.
1942 Nazi leaders refine the "Final Solution" -- the genocide of the
Jewish people -- at Wannsee Conference.
1945 Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal estimates that 6,000,000 Jews have
been murdered by the Nazis.
1947 Ancient scrolls, some dating from 22 B.C.E., are discovered at Qumram
near the Dead Sea. UN approves partition of Bitish Mandate Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.
1948 Israel is founded as a nation and is recognized by the United States.
1950s Hundreds of thousands of Jews from Europe and Arab lands come to
1956 Sinai campaign by Israel, France, and England.
1960 Adolph Eichmann stands trial in Israel for crimes against the Jews
and humanity during WorId War II.
1967 Israel is victorious over Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq in Six
1969 Golda Meir elected Prime Minister of Israel.
1970 Soviet Jews agitate for right to emigrate.
1973 Egypt and Syria attack Israel on the Day of Atonement, starting
the Yom Kippur War, which Israel wins.
1978 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.
1985 Operation Moses, airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
1987 Uprising of Palestinian Arabs, known as the Intifada, begins on
Judea, Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza.
1989 Soviet Union permits Jews to emigrate on their first application
1991 Breakup of Soviet Union leads to rise of nationalism and outbreaks
1992 Operation Solomon brings almost all Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
1993 Israel signs Agreement with the PLO.
1994 Israel-Jordanian Peace Treaty.
with fewer than 100 persons.
Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, Botswana, cayman islands, china, Cyprus, Egypt, fiji, islands, French Guyana,
Guadeloupe, Haiti, hondurus, Indonesia, maceedonia, malta, Martinique, Mozambique, Burma, Namibia, new Caledonia, Nicaragua,
slovenia, Taiwan, zambia.