By Caroline Glick—
At independence, Israel was little more than a spark of light – a tiny spark – in the Jewish world. From a total of 11.5 million Jews alive on the 5th of the month of Iyyar in the Jewish year 5708, (May 14, 1948), only 650,000, or 6% lived in Israel. In contrast, the day Israel was founded, some five million, or 43% of world Jewry were living in the United States.
Fast forward 73 years and that little spark of light is now the sun in the Jewish solar system. With 6.9 million Jews out of a total of 14.9 million, not only is Israel the largest Jewish community in the world by far with 47% of world Jewry living within its boundaries, by 2030, the majority of world Jewry will be living in the Jewish state.
As for America, although half a million Jews immigrated to the US since Israel was founded, the total number of Jews in America stands today at a mere 5.7 million. American Jewry has been reduced to just 38% of the world Jewish population. The implications are straightforward. Since 1948, virtually all of the growth in the Jewish world population has happened and is continuing to happen in Israel.
Israel’s transformation into the center of the Jewish world isn’t just a question of demographics. Most Torah learning that is happening in the world is happening in Israel. Most Jewish literature is being written in Israel. Jewish advances in everything from medicine to economics and business, to science, engineering, culinary arts, visual arts and more are happening in Israel. Jewish history is being researched in Israel and is being made in Israel. Israel is the present of the Jewish people and the future of the Jewish people.
Aside from everything else, this state of affairs exposes the manifest stupidity of the claim that anti-Zionism is anything other than antisemitism.
Although Israel’s position at the center of the Jewish world is undeniable, it has gone largely unnoticed by most Israelis. Most of the Israelis who are engaged with Diaspora Jewry continue to act as though Israel – with a per capita GDP higher than Japan’s – is an underpopulated, impoverished backwater that cannot survive without the support of our wealthy and more secure brethren in America, Australia or France.
So too, most Israelis are unaware of the revolution the country has brought to Judaism itself. In the space of three generations, Israelis have taken their grandparents’ practices from the ghettos of Europe and the melachs of North Africa and Arabia and turned them into a dynamic, living, breathing creed. Judaism is the rhythm of life in Israel.
In every neighborhood, village and town, the Judaism that is lived in Israel has an electric vibrance. Israeli music, fashion, customs, prayer, settlement, religious studies, agriculture, and cooking are separately and together expressions of a spiritual renewal the likes of which no one imagined, or planned. Continue Reading….