Numbers have great meaning in Judaism, and Israel’s 70th year of independence — being celebrated today — takes on special significance when we realize that, according to Jewish tradition, 70 represents the nations of the world.
The first time the number 70 appears is in the lists of genealogy following the flood.
Genesis Chapter 10 enumerates exactly 70 descendants of Noah. Jews extrapolate from this verse that the world comprises 70 nations, each with its own language.
Over the past seven decades since its founding in 1948, Israel has made many great achievements in building relationships with all the nations of the world.
In 2018, Israel’s greatest ally, the United States, is moving its embassy to Jerusalem.
Incoming tourism to the Jewish state is at an all time high. New relationships are developing with long hostile enemy nations, such as Saudi Arabia. And we have new trade partners in the Far East. These are all signs that the nations globally are embracing Israel in unprecedented ways and looking to the Jewish state with renewed interest and openness.
This week, Israel365 (Israel365.com) along with Menorah Books (an imprint of Koren Publishers Jerusalem) have released "The Israel Bible," a 2,200-page Bible highlighting the relationship between the land and the people of Israel.
Throughout the volume there are maps of Israel along with hundreds of photographs. Each page has lessons and commentary written by a team of Israeli rabbis and scholars — for Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike.
"The Israel Bible" brings the relationship between the people of Israel and the land of Israel to life by emphasizing the many wonders achieved in the seven decades of statehood.
Along with some of the more well-known stories, including the ingathering of the exiles, the revitalization of the Hebrew language, and the transformation of the barren wastelands, "The Israel Bible" also focuses on lesser known, but no less remarkable achievements. Primary among them is the spiritual partnership emerging between Jews and non-Jews.
Whereas in previous generations, the Jewish people were never interested in teaching Torah and the non-Jews weren’t interested in hearing from us, that is no longer the case.
Never before in Jewish history has there been a time when the Jewish people have been embraced by the nations as today. With millions of evangelicals around the world who pray for the peace of Jerusalem each day, "The Israel Bible" aims to help Christians understand the basis for their support of Israel and fulfill our destiny as a light unto the nations.
Now that Israel has achieved the ripe age of 70, we have the wisdom and must find the confidence to assume our national role to reach out and teach the Bible to the 70 nations of the world.
Rabbi Tuly Weisz is the founder of Israel365 and the Editor of “The Israel Bible."
Rabbi Tuly Weisz is the director of Israel365, which connects 2 million people to Israel every month. He founded the I365 newsletter, is publisher of Breaking Israel News, and editor of The Israel Bible. He lives with his family in Ramat Beit Shemesh. To read more of his reports, Click Here Now.
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