David Geffen’s article about Israel’s second birthday (“Basking in our nascent independence,” May 3) was a wonderful piece of history. But it would be wrong to see 1950 as historic while not recognizing the remarkable significance of our own milieu.
I first visited Israel in 1966, spending two months here in the summer of my bar mitzvah year. The Six Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem were still a year away. The Old City was still Judenrein, and I, along with every other Jew, was barred from entry upon pain of death.
Then, two years ago, on the eve of Independence Day, I stood with tens of thousands of people outside the Jaffa Gate as music played, lighted drones flew overhead in the night sky forming Lions of Judah and Stars of David. The crowd cheered with a single voice in a thrilling, uninhibited communal exuberance.
At the age of 13, I could never have imagined such a scene. More than half a century had passed, and for the first time I felt I knew what it meant in the blessing after meals when we say, “When God will return the exiles of Zion, we will have been like dreamers.” ARI BAR-OZ Jerusalem
It it would be wrong to see 1950 as historic while not recognizing the remarkable significance of our own milieu