Beit Midrash

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • The Obligation of Thanking Hashem
To dedicate this lesson

The Israeli Flag


Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed

22 Iyar 5755
Recently we have been seeing a sad occurrence: Car owners who've decorated their car with a flag in honor of Yom HaAtzmaut and parked in Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) neighborhoods, found their flags ripped and broken. Haredi boys broke the flags because they are opposed to the state. To them, the Israeli flag is what symbolizes the spiritually flawed way of the state. It is, in their opinion, the symbol of heresy and moral corruption, and so they tear up the flag in a fit of rage.
And what does the flag symbolize in the eyes of our enemies, the enemies of Israel who wage war against the state and seek to destroy it? To them, the flag of the state of Israel symbolizes the aspiration of the people of Israel to return to the land of Israel, to Jerusalem, to Temple Mount, to eliminate the mosques from it, to build The Temple there, to gather together all of Am Yisrael to the land of Israel and to settle them throughout the land. This is the meaning of the state to our enemies who surround us in our neighboring countries and within Israel itself, and this is what the flag represents to them. They see in our flag the aspiration of returning to Hebron, to return to Jericho, to Shechem (Nablus), to Beit El, to all of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan River bank, and for this they are ready to tear up the flag in a fit of rage. In the Israeli flag they see an expression of the People of Israel to move forward in its unique way and faith; they see in the waving of the flag an announcement by the People of Israel that they are alive and want to fulfill all of their spiritual aspirations; they think these things will come at their expense, and since it’s contradictory to their own aspirations – they use every opportunity they can get to scorn, ruin, destroy, and burn our state flag. Also our own radical left, on the other side, are no longer very proud of the Israeli flag. To them, this flag is too Jewish, nationalistic and racist.
If so, what does the Israeli state flag really symbolize? I think that the Arabs, and also the leftists are correct. I think the flag of Israel represents the People of Israel returning to their land and the Torah, being gathered from all over to its homeland, yearning to build a more complete life here like in the past, to be a light unto the nations, and to perfect the world under God's sovereignty.
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