Happy Yom Ha’atzmaut! Israel’s Independence Day. On this date (on the Jewish calendar) in 1948, the world witnessed one of history’s greatest expressions of national renewal and self-determination. Like many new nations, Israel was born under fire; it exists today only because its local militia was able to secure stability when the imperial power withdrew. Israel’s accomplishments—all achieved under that same fire—have been remarkable. Despite heavy odds and constant provocation, it has managed to thrive as a free, open, democratic, liberal state. A decade ago, when I watched the IDF respond with humanity and humility to the most barbaric wave of terrorism that the developed world has seen since WWII, I swelled with pride. Its actions allowed me to look deep into my own Jewish traditions and wonder what it was that gave us this strength. Israel at 64 truly does stand as a light to the nations—far too many of whom are much happier in the dark. Happy Birthday, Israel!