Israel proclaimed statehood on this date, the 5th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, 1948. Like today, it was a Friday. They were to declare statehood the following day, upon conclusion of the British Mandate, but that date fell on Shabbat, and to accommodate the orthodox signers of the Declaration of Independence who could not sign on Shabbat, statehood was declared a day early. A shining example of unity and respect for the rich diversity of the Jewish people.
The signers included men, women, secular, orthodox, ashkenazi and sefardic Jews. Left and right wing.
The world and particularly Jews in the British Mandate of Palestine waited in great anticipation to learn the name of the new Jewish state.
An excerpt of Ben-Gurion’s speech, delivered 71 years ago, upon the rebirth of a 3,000 year old nation:
“This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.
“Accordingly we, members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Jewish Community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist Movement, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British Mandate over Eretz-Israel and, by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.”
Jewish people around the world should be inspired by the modern state of Israel to overcome their differences as well. Since the Jewish State is the clearest manifestation that true unity within the Jewish people is not only possible, but a key component to our thriving and successful society.