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    Israel as memory

    In his book, “Israel: An Echo of Eternity”, Abraham Joshua Heschel asked why Jewish hearts and minds always turned to Israel.

    He said there were three reasons, memory, hope and distress.

    He said that to believe is to remember. Not in the sense of a dim, distant record, but as a stimulus to hope. The memory was symbolised by rituals and customs that ensured that Israel remained part of everyday Jewish consciousness.

    The memory kindled within us the hope that Israel the land and Israel the people would both be redeemed.

    There was a strand of distress that came into every generation. The fulfilment of the hope was challenged in every age. But the Jew never gave up hoping, dreaming and praying.

    In our day both God and the Jewish people have shown they never abandoned the pledge to build and rebuild.

    Many other powers had control over the land for a period, but the land did not respond to them. The land was waiting for its own people, and there came a day when God reunited them, land and people.

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