Yesterday was the birthday of modern Israel and, just as I usually do, I missed the day, so this is a belated ode. The reestablishment of the Jewish state of Israel, with its eternal capital city as Jerusalem, is no less than a “wonder of wonder miracle of miracles.” Twice the Jews were dragged away in chains from the country Ha Shem gave to them. It looked like the country of Israel disappeared into the dustbin of history. There was no hope that there would ever be a viable country again.
The first time the Jewish captives were brought to Babylonia in chains. This is where we get the Bibical psalm 137 ” If I forget thee O Jerusalem”. The second time they were vanquished by Rome and the golden menorah, symbol of the Jewish people, can still be seen carved into the triumphant arch of Rome. That time seemed to be the truly victorious one Jews had no home for centuries and were dispersed all over the world.Although some Jews, or Palestinians, as they were called still lived there in their ancient home, without their creative energy of their brothers it became according to Mark Twain:
“….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”
In the late 1800’s Theodore Herzl started lobbying for a Jewish national home. The anti -semitism was very bad all over Europe and he believed it would never cease. He was able to convince enough Jews the essential need for their own homeland and Zionism was born. Theodore Herzl was proven right. The anti-semitism of Europe climaxed with the Holocaust and still the Brits and Americans refused entry to Jewish refugees escaping the fires of Europe.
The broken and pitiful Jews managed to drain swamps, fight enemies, and build an army. In 1948 the world finally recognized Israel, a democratic Jewish country. Since then Israel has brought outstanding technological and medical innovations to the world. Israelis have made humanitarian forays into countries to help in all kinds of disasters. They have welcomed people of all colors and religions into their country and provided healthcare and education for all. All of this while enemies sabotage, plot, and murder Jews. IEDs continuously target Jewish children in southern Israel cities. Sderot has had 100 alone since the beginning of 2014. This tiny Jewish state is surrounded by enemies. Now its dealing with allies that appear to becoming enemies. All of this tsuris (trouble) and it not only survives but thrives. If that isn’t a”miracle of miracles” what is?