Am Yisrael ChaiBy: Tuvya Zaretsky
The People of Israel Live
Survival is a Jewish core value. So, each year Israel honors those who gave their lives fighting for the State’s existence, followed by celebrations on Israel Independence Day (April 14 and 15, 2021). Chants erupt spontaneously along with singing, “Am Yisrael Chai” (“The People Israel Live”). Many consider the existence of the modern State a miracle.
If the existence of the Jewish people is a miracle, then there is some significance to Jewish survival. In fact, I believe there are two implications. First, there would be no people of Israel unless the God of the Bible exists, and his everlasting covenant was with them. Second, his biblical salvation plan could not happen without the Jewish people. They are God’s appointed family tree to bear the anointed redeemer.
The first importance in the survival of Israel is found in Torah, Deuteronomy 7:6. It says, God set Israel apart from among all the nations for a special purpose.
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
By his covenant with the Jewish people, God would accomplish his plan to bless all the nations of the earth (see Genesis 12:3).
Before the New Testament was written, some Jewish people anticipated an anointed redeemer, a son of Israel who would bring life from the dead as described in the Torah, prophets, and writings. A powerful reference to that is found in the Hebrew Scriptures,
"For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another" (Job 19:25-27).
God sustained the people of Israel to deliver the anointed redeemer for all the nations. And he continues to preserve Israel as his indicator to all people that he exists. So, the survival of Israel matters in the plans of God.
Today, some people fret that intermarriage is going to destroy the Jewish people. However, for over 4,000 years God has kept his covenant faithfulness to Israel. Intermarriage does not threaten the survival of the Jewish people because God’s sovereign plan is to preserve the people.
Israel honors the memory of those who gave their lives to establish a homeland for Jewish people and celebrates the modern State. It is good to remember the survival of Jewish people is ensured in the plan of Israel’s God.
Am Yisrael Chai. Thank God – “The people Israel live!”