ראובן ריבלין
President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin
Photo: GPO
President Reuven Rivlin and an actor dressed as Theodor Herzl

Herzl dared to dream the impossible

Opinion: Marking the 125th anniversary of the publication of Theodor Herzl's book 'The Jewish State', President Reuven Rivlin urges the people of Israel to draw inspiration during the current crisis from the example left to us by the father of modern Zionism

Reuven Rivlin |
Published: 02.14.21, 14:44
The dream that Theodor Herzl envisaged was based on an ancient idea, as he himself stated in the prologue of his book "The Jewish State," but also drew from on a new, exciting and surprising vision.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • It was an old-new dream that changed the fate of our people forever, and it is thanks to this that we are here today.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin and an actor dressed as the father of the Jewish State, Theodor Herzl
    President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin and an actor dressed as the father of the Jewish State, Theodor Herzl
    President Reuven Rivlin and an actor dressed as Theodor Herzl
    (Photo: Noam Rivkin-Fenton)
    The father of the Jewish state was bold enough to dare to dream the impossible. Herzl had the audacity, stubbornness, chutzpah and courage to dream big.
    But as history shows us, Herzl believed the stuff of dreams could be forged into reality.
    Herzl awakened the Jewish people from their slumber. He held fast to his dream, and - as he foresaw - a persecuted people established their homeland on their ancient soil within a handful of decades.
    We must not associate Herzl's legacy with one form of government or another, or exclusively with the values of the right or the left.
    In fact, Herzl's legacy can be summed up as the ability to dream.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Secular and Haredi Jewish men pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
    Secular and Haredi Jewish men pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
    Secular and Haredi Jewish men pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Sharon Gabay)
    Herzl's dream was to unite Jews from diverse communities and denominations around the world into a tremendous national force — a people that survived the fires of the Holocaust and created the modern State of Israel.
    Herzl's dream enchanted the Jewish people. They admired his vision and chose to fulfill it in their own way, going down a path that sometimes deviated from Herzl's outline for the Jewish state.
    Israel today is grappling with health, economic and social crises. But as long as we stick with Herzl-like determination to our shared dream of Zion, one grounded on the value of mutual responsibility that has guided our people for millennia, I wholeheartedly believe that there is no challenge that we cannot overcome.
    If we are wise enough to reach out and comfort one another, as we have proven before we can, we can keep our dream alive in reality.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    An Israeli Muslim and an Israeli Jew bake <i>hamantashen </i>for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim
    An Israeli Muslim and an Israeli Jew bake <i>hamantashen </i>for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim
    An Israeli Muslim and an Israeli Jew bake hamantashen for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim
    (Photo: Nurit Yakovs-Yinon)
    Herzl's belief in the Jewish people and in their right to a state is a belief that we must let us guide us even today.
    We, Herzl's disciples, know that nothing is impossible. We live in a country that is the epitome of impossible, and our very existence is the fulfilment of a vision many were quick to dismiss as hopeless.
    We are armed with the firm belief that with enough vision and willpower, a desert can be transformed into a flourishing country, and a small country can be transformed into the start-up nation.
    Sometimes it seems that the disagreements between the different groups and tribes that make up Israeli society and the tensions between the country's Jewish and democratic identities are too great.
    But we must not give up. We will continue building this Jewish and democratic State of Israel, a state of many sectors — from secular to religious and Haredi and from Jews to Arabs — because we have no other land and we have no other people.
    Reuven 'Ruvi' Rivlin is the president of the State of Israel
    Talkbacks for this article 0