As we prepare to observe Yom HaAtzmaut TRADITION is pleased to release this open-access version of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s “Jewish Sovereignty and the Redemption of the Shekhina” – which appeared in print for the first time in our Winter 2021 issue. This manuscript was prepared in Yiddish and delivered by the Rav zt”l as a talk to the 1948 Mizrachi Convention, just weeks after the establishment of the State of Israel.
My colleagues, happy are we that we merited to see that today the Knesset Yisrael can interpret “great, mighty, and awesome” according to its simple meaning, in the sense of physical and political heroism. This is an Athalta de-Ge’ula, a beginning of the Redemption. Today, together with Moses, we sing: “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted. The horse and rider He has thrown into the sea.” The heroes of Eretz Yisrael sanctify God’s Name. But not for one moment can we forget that “great, mighty, and awesome” must become an expression and manifestation of a much higher ideal, and this idea must not be lost. Otherwise, the deification of the State will become Avoda Zara.