Last week, the Rambam Mesivta community had a special assembly, led by Rabbi Yotav Eliach, Principal of Rambam and noted author of Judaism, Zionism, and the Land of Israel, commemorating the anniversary of the United Nation’s passage of the Partition Plan on November 29, 1947.

As Rabbi Eliach explained, the resolution of the UN passed, delineating territory for the creation of Jewish and Arab states out of the former British Mandate of Palestine. Unfortunately, while the Jews accepted the Partition Plan, the Arabs uniformly rejected it. When the British evacuated Palestine in May 1948, the Arabs attacked, beginning the Israeli War of Independence and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Rabbi Eliach buttressed these points in his presentation with maps from his book, courtesy of the late historian Sir Martin Gilbert, and a video from PragerU. The video focused on the “simplicity” of the conflict, ending with a thought experiment: What would happen if the Israelis laid down their arms? There would be a massacre of the Jews by their neighbors. And what would happen if Israel’s enemies laid down their arms? There would be peace the next day.

The students gained an immense amount from this assembly and from Rabbi Eliach’s words, and hopefully will continue to do so from the exciting lineup of presentations in store for the near future. The program was concluded with a very moving rendition of “HaTikvah” by members of the Rambam Band, Elisha Bauman, Ami Dube, and Abie Hersh.