Tuesday, October 27th 2020   |

Say Little, Do Much: Seventy


Ben Shiv’im L’Seivah, says Pirkei Avot (5:21) – “The age of seventy brings fullness of years.” What an historic privilege it has been to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the founding of a free and independent, democratic and Jewish State of Israel!

Yet age is a relative state. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. quipped: “To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.” William Wordsworth was still composing sonnets at age 70. Robert Frost recited poetry at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy at age 86. Moses did not begin his prophetic mission until age 80, while Grandma Moses showed her art for the first time at age 79 and painted some 25 of her celebrated works after the age of 100!

The gratitude that Israel’s admirers and supporters felt at this week’s historic milestone was focused not merely on all that Israel has accomplished in its first seven decades… as monumental as those achievements truly are. I and countless others are even “more cheerful and hopeful” as we contemplate future celebrations… of all that Israel has yet to achieve, and the profound contributions the Jewish State will doubtless make to humanity in the long years ahead.

If we will it, it is no dream.

(Rabbi Joseph H. Prouser is the rabbi of Temple Emanuel of North Jersey and is the National Chaplain of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting.)

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