Balfour- Commemorating, Learning, and Surging Forward
By Yaffa Abadi
Momentous events in Jewish History are always acknowledged and commemorated, whether in celebration like Shavuot, or mourning like Tisha Ba’áv.
It is one of the primary sources of strength for the Jewish Nation--drawing on the significance of our history to pay tribute to and learn from events as we go forward. Each milestone in our collective past is used as a springboard for education and a means to reflect upon its impact.
It could be this admirable quality of the Jewish People that has enabled us to remain a strong, committed nation despite our extraordinarily tumultuous history.
As we approach the one hundred year anniversary of yet another momentous event, this one shaping our more recent miraculous history of reclaiming the State of Israel as our Jewish homeland--Balfour Declaration.
The Balfour Declaration was the internationally-recognized proclamation in which Lord Balfour asserted British support for a Jewish State in Palestine. Not only did this represent the first political recognition of Jewish nationalism by a world power, but it reflected an understanding of the philosophical, practical and spiritual link between the Jewish Nation and its ancient homeland.
This declaration rocked world Jewry, and despite the the British government’s contradictory actions following, it is clear that this declaration was an engine for the strengthening of Zionism which ultimately encouraged the Zionist movement in achieving their goal.
Not only was this declaration vital for world Jewry at the time, it remains relevant today. As the legitimacy of the State of Israel continues to be threatened, Balfour is a reminder that Israel was established with the full backing and support of the international community.
So, as the 100 year mark of this momentous event in our history draws near, we are obliged to continue the tradition of our forefathers and commemorate it by educating ourselves about our shared history and thereby prepare ourselves for our future.
Using the resources provided to commemorate this victory, we will continue strengthening the Jewish Nation and State by connecting with our past and marching forward, equipped for our future.
Yaffa Abadi is a twenty year old who made Aliyah just over a year ago from South Africa. She has a passion for creative writing and am currently studying English Literature and Philosophy at the Hebrew University while trying to navigate my way as an Olah Chadasha.