"May you live in interesting times," goes the well-known curse. Perhaps for the Jews, the times have always been interesting, although as Israel celebrates her 63rd birthday today, one might say that the last 63 years have been especially so.
Israel is described in today's Jewish liturgy as "reishit tzemihat ge'ulateinu," the dawn of the flowering of our redemption. Nobody will argue that the State of Israel is a perfect place, but there is no question in my mind that we have been building our redemption for 63 years at least. We are all fundamentally incomplete until that redemption comes; Israel, though a work in progress, is the biggest step toward redemption that the Jews have taken in two millennia. Kol hakavod, and happy Independence Day.