First watch this great little video, which covers Israel’s incredible first 65 years of its existence, with all the main events touched upon:
The video is a bit too fast and too condensed to really appreciate all that Israel has been through and that the country has created in such a short time. To gain a greater understanding of Israel’s intense creativity, see this wonderful article from the Times of Israel: 65 years of innovation, from Rummikub to the “God Particle“:
While a great deal of international and media focus has been placed on Israel’s military conflicts, the country quietly has become an energetic, ambitious incubator of entrepreneurialism and invention. What follows is a timeline chronicling some of the most important and interesting innovations produced by Israelis during their country’s 65-year existence.
RUMMIKUB (1940s): Ephraim Hertzano invents the smash hit board game Rummikub, which goes on to become the best-selling game in the United States in 1977.
UZI MACHINE GUN (1948): Major Uzi Gaf develops the Uzi submachine gun. Gaf builds in numerous mechanical innovations resulting in a shorter, more wieldy automatic. It is estimated that more than 10 million have been built; the Uzi has seen action in numerous wars and in countries throughout the world.
CANCER SCREENER (1954): Weizmann Institute pioneer Ephraim Frei begins groundbreaking research on the effect of magnetism on human tissue. His work will lead directly to the development of the T-Scan system for the detection of breast cancer, which the US Food and Drug Administration described as a “significant… breakthrough.”
EARLY COMPUTER (1955): The Weizmann Institute’s WEIZAC computer performs its first calculation. With an initial memory of 1,024 words stored on a magnetic drum, it is one of the first large-scale stored program computers in the world. In 2006, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers recognizes WEIZAC as a milestone achievement in the fields of computers and electrical engineering.
SOLAR ENERGY BENCHMARK (1955): Harry Zvi Tabor develops a new solar energy system that today powers 95 percent of Israeli solar water heaters and is the standard for solar water heating around the world.
AMNIOCENTESIS (1956): Weizmann professor Leo Sachs becomes the first to examine cells drawn from amniotic fluid to diagnose potential genetic abnormalities or prenatal infections in developing fetuses. His work becomes known as amniocentesis, a routine procedure now conducted on pregnant women worldwide.
The list goes on with dozens of more examples of Israel’s astounding creativity. There are things that even as an Israeli of 35+ years standing I had no idea were Israeli inventions, like amniocentesis for example. There are also innovations that I knew were Israeli and am inordinately proud of belonging to such a bright and creative country.
As I have said repeatedly, for a country that had almost literally risen from the ashes of the Holocaust, that absorbed millions of destitute and desperate refugees, and that was under immediate and constant attack from 5 hostile neighbours with huge well-equipped armies, one would have expected a subsistence existence at the very most. Instead the Jews in Israel created a thriving, creative, diverse and productive country which not only subsists and exists, it exports and provides aid all over the world (as I wrote about in my last Good News Friday post).
Let’s drink Le’chaim to Israel and wish her and ourselves many more years of good health, happiness, safety and security. To Life!
To conclude the day, here’s a lovely optimistic video from the Fountainheads (via my Facebook friend Rachel B-E).
Chag Same’ach Israel!