Miracles and faith have an uneasy ongoing relationship. Faith must be engaged and be continued even in the absence of miracles. Yet our relationship with our Creator yearns for the occurrence of Divine intervention in our private and national lives.
We must learn to walk a walk of faith that is not dependant on miracles yet is always in anticipation of these miracles.
Years of exile and persecution have taught generations of Jews to look for miraculous occurrences in the world of the Prat, or the private smaller dimension. Miraculous intervention in the sphere of the Klal , or in the national, or larger dimension was always viewed from the perspective of the past and the future. The present is always relegated to the smaller picture.
All this was the situation until prophecy and history began to transect and collide.
Therefore, prophesy, and say unto them: “Thus saith HaShem G-d I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.” (Ezekiel 37:12).
Out of the camps of death and darkness a battered and skeletal people arrived on the shores of an ancient land. Those in the world still accustomed to talking about miracles in the past or future tenses did not recognize the beginning of a new era.
They came from the cemeteries of Europe and they continued to come from the southern shores of Yemen. In time they traveled from northern Africa and were slowly gathered from the west and left the villages of Cush and escaped the iron curtain in the land of the north. Yet most of the world watched and thought how the phenomenon was interesting but so unlike what they were expecting of the miraculous events still to come
The process continued to unfold and continued to align with words spoken so many years earlier in the biblical past.”Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north: ‘Give up,’ and to the south: ‘Keep not back, bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:5-6).
They came from the cemeteries of Europe and they continued to come from the southern shores of Yemen. In time they traveled from northern Africa and were slowly gathered from the west and left the villages of Cush and escaped the iron curtain in the land of the north. Yet most of the world watched and thought how the phenomenon was interesting but so unlike what they were expecting of the miraculous events still to come. Unused to seeing miracles in the present they minimized these dramatic events and continued to miss the unfolding of the era.
Then the words of psalm 122 begin to blossom into reality in the summer of 1967:1. A Song of Ascents; of David. I rejoiced when they said unto me: Let us go unto the house of HaShem. 2. Our feet are standing within thy gates, O Jerusalem;3. Jerusalem, that is built as a city rebuilt together.
A city torn asunder is brought back together. Jerusalem suddenly regains its stature as the eternal undivided capital of the Jewish people.
It was now getting very difficult to ignore the miraculous journey of this much maligned people. It is getting harder to avoid the instances of Divine intervention in the unfolding history of this people. The Jewish people were being forced to think, dream and anticipate differently than they had been during the two thousand years of exile.
It was impossible not to comprehend that dramatic and new chapters were being inscribed in the scroll describing human history from creation to this moment. The scroll was being rolled open, the quill is held in hand and it suddenly became dramatically clear that our generations happen to be the ink being used to write out these final chapters.
As I think of Zachariah s vision, “there will yet be a time when old men and old women will lean on their canes and children will play in the streets of Jerusalem . I began to realize that the children Zachariah saw in his vision could very well be my children.
When I hear the sounds of weddings wafting across the valley from Moshav Orah, I wonder if that was what Jeremiah heard when he proclaimed, there will yet be heard in the cities of Yehuda and in the streets of Yerushalayim the sound of joy and the sound of happiness, the sound of the groom and the sound of the bride. (Jeremiah 33:10-11).
When I taste of the sweet fruits of this land it is clear to me that these were the fruits that Ezekiel were talking about when he declared, “mountains shoot forth your branches for my children are coming home. (Ezekiel 36).
It is with that vision and expectation of Divine intervention that tens of thousands of Jews sing and dance on Jerusalem day, commemorating the liberation of this city. It is with that same vision and determination that hundreds of thousands of Israelis will continue to fight the expulsion decrees against the Jews of Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron.
Many of our people, who still believe in miracles, continue to speak of them in the past or future tense. A growing multitude though, has begun to realize that our vision and mission is to continue to strive in this world, not depending on miracles, and yet always expecting them.
Jerusalem day is not only a celebration of the reunification of the Holy city. It is a celebration of the simple reality of G-d constant intervention and the expectation of much more in the near future.