Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Old New Home

Bob Dylan famously sang the lines, "How does it feel, to be without a home... like a rolling stone?" And up until 1948 the Jewish people were the only ones who could have told him exactly how that felt. For hundreds of years, the Jewish people were persecuted and repudiated by states that wanted no part in serving as a home to Jews. As tension continued to grow between the Jews and their oppressors, the need for an established Jewish state became more and more evident. Thus, on May 14th, 1948, in a conference room in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion declared Israel the first Jewish State. Disregarding eminent threats from opposing powers, David Ben-Gurion created a home for the Jewish people.

Interestingly, I discovered upon further investigation that Tel Aviv's name stems from Ezekiel 3:15, where Ezekiel writes, "I came to the exiles that lived in Tel Aviv near the Kebar river." The irony that Israel was founded in a city named after a biblical town inhabited by exiles borders on dark humor, and fittingly puts the Jewish people's journey to their own state into context. Experiencing this rich history first hand by walking through the streets of Tel Aviv brought a whole new understanding to the immense tribulations the Jewish people faced before earning what most would call a basic human right - a place to call home.

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