From the Israeli Declaration of Independence:
“Placing our trust in the “Rock of Israel”, we affix our signatures to this proclamation at this session of the provisional council of state, on the soil of the homeland, in the city of Tel-Aviv, on this Sabbath eve, the 5th day of Iyar, 5708 (14th may,1948).”
The trust in the “Rock of Israel” means the trust in God.
Indeed, in Psalm 19:15 of the Old Testament of the Bible (the Torah), God is referred to as the “Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” In religious terms, the “Rock” means God, who protects the Jewish people and is the center of their faith, which defines their identity and consciousness. The term indicates the trust and faith of people in God, who is immutable. A phrase beginning “Rock of Israel” is part of the morning prayers in some versions of the prayer book, where it is recited immediately before the Shemaiah Esrei prayer. The Jews who do not pray or recite, they most probably do not need religious rituals as the way of communicating with some Supreme Power above them.
The contemporary secularists are interpreting the term “Rock of Israel” in a non-religious way to mean the cultural and historical heritage that has preserved Jewish community and identity over centuries. However, the original meaning of this term is the proof that the spiritual foundation of Israel is rooted in the concept of One God with His guidance described in the Ten Commandments and the entire Torah.
From the American Declaration of Independence:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In the “Declaration of Independence,” Thomas Jefferson who wrote this document for the entire group of the Founding Fathers mentions God with two names – “Creator” and “Nature’s God.” The word Creator undoubtedly denotes God the Creator as described numerous times in the Bible. Through the letters and other writings of Jefferson, it is possible to construct the meaning of “Nature’s God”. In the tradition of deism, Jefferson based his God on reason and rejected revealed religion. It is very close to a contemporary belief that God reveals Himself through His Laws of Nature – not through formal religious institutions.
Thus, the uniqueness of USA and Israel is that both of them were founded on the belief in God and on their unique interpretation of the God’s guidance. By prohibiting the dictatorial spiritual power of any one religious denomination that later on was termed as the “State-Religion separation”, the Founding Fathers solidified the belief that the human individuals are made in the true image and likeness of God. They were made in the true image of God as the free thinkers who are able to work on creating God’s better world for everybody on their own – without waiting for the marching orders from any human power.
Historians confirmed the concept of America’s unique God-guided Bible-driven historical and cultural identity as they studied the first centuries of America’s history, from the Pilgrims through Abraham Lincoln. The statements and institutions of the founding generation that have been preserved are numerous, and they explicitly describe many of their biblical motivations and goals, their interest in Hebrew and the Hebrew Bible, their use of Jewish and Christian images and ideas. Below are a few examples of many described in the history books.
Benjamin Rush, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence, makes vague reference to the Hebrew bible in the context of broader Christian republicanism (which is close by definition to the democracy in our contemporary understanding): “A Christian cannot fail of being a republican. The history of the creation of man, and of the relation of our species to each other by birth, which is recorded in the Old Testament, is the best refutation that can be given to the divine right of kings, and the strongest argument that can be used in favor of the original and natural equality of all mankind.”
James Witherspoon, president of Princeton, teacher of James Madison and later a member of the Continental Congress, and one of the most influential thinkers in the Colonies, joined the cause of the Revolution with a widely publicized sermon based on Psalm 76, identifying the American colonists with the people of Israel.
Of fifty-five printed texts from the Revolutionary period, thirty-three took texts from the Hebrew Bible.
These Judeo-Christian values were especially important at the key foundational moments of the settling of America, the War for Independence and the Civil War.
Unfortunately, nowadays the God-based Judeo-Christian foundation of the USA under assault and the removal of the Ten Commandments from the public arena is an unmistaken evidence of it. If our religious leaders and all of us do not respond forcefully by supporting and justifying the election of people with the Judeo-Christian mind-set to all three branches of the government, we will create a spiritually empty space ready for the truly destructive movements to come in.