“More than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.”
These are the words written by one of the greatest early Zionist leaders, Asher Ginsberg, known better by his pen name - Ahad Ha’am. He wrote this at a very different time for the Jewish people, compared to today, when our ancestors in Europe clung to their traditions and mitzvot to keep them unified in a world filled with persecution and turmoil. To the diverse group of Jewish UCT students that attended the trip to Israel it seems, that in 2016, a new paradigm has emerged. As we walked past Ahad Ha’ams towering grave in the historic Trumpeldor cemetery in central Tel Aviv you can’t help but think that today we are privileged to not only have Shabbat as a unifying factor for the Jewish people but also to say that 70 years after the creation of the State more than the Jews now keep Israel, it is Israel that is keeping the Jews.
Check out amazing blogs and op-eds here by Jewish student leaders from all over the world.