Israel Forever

For the week ending 2 May 2009 / 7 Iyyar 5769

Happy Birthday, Medinat Yisrael

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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As the State of Israel celebrates its 61st birthday it is only natural to reflect on what has been achieved since the founding of the state.

From a total Jewish population of 600,000 in 1948 there has been such an increase in the number of Jews living in their ancient homeland that Israel today can claim to have more Jewish residents than any other country in the world. Despite this exciting increase Israel still faces a serious demographic problem because of the higher birth rate of the Arab sector. The effort made by the government to balance this growth by encouraging a massive aliya of Russian Jewry created a problem of a large number of non-Jews becoming part of Israeli society. Aliya in large numbers from other sources does not seem to be on the horizon, so that the only practical way to ensure a solid Jewish majority is to encourage Jews to have more children.

One way to achieve this is to restore the child allowance that was severely cut by a previous government. It is hoped that the new government will realize the importance of subsidizing large families and thus ensure a Jewish Israel forever.

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