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The Tenth of Tevet: Bringing The Stones Back To Life Print E-mail
Written by Machberes Avodas Hashem   

destruction"It happened when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall that he became enraged... and he ridiculed the Jews. 'What are these Jewish weaklings doing? Will they reinforce

[the wall]? ...Can they bring back to life the stones out of mounds of dirt, when they have been charred?" (Nehemiah 3:33-34)

There were numerous obstacles that could have prevented the Jews in the times of Nehemia from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Then, why does Sanballat focus on mocking them for wanting to revive dead stones? They could have used new stones. They were facing very real challenges; why invest efforts in trying to build something out of dust and charred remains?

Sanballat was trying to discourage the Jews by reminding them of the extent of the destruction at a time when they were looking ahead towards rebuilding. Look at what is left from your previous glory; dirt, burnt particles. Nothing from your past can be salvaged. You want to use debris, rubble from the ruins? It is impossible! It is dead; you would have to bring these stones back to life!

Whether we are faced with our external or internal enemies, this is often how we are made to feel. There has been too much damage; it is irredeemable. Our past is wrecked beyond repair. We would have to start from scratch and abandon the remaining dust.
This is not the case, though. With God's help, we can breathe life into the shattered pieces of our failures. We can restore them and use them to build something new and strong.
The mounds of dirt that still hold the smell of the fire of destruction can become the stones that will bring us hope for a brighter future. 

"Yet we built the wall" (Nehemia 3:38). 

ToolsThis is our opportunity to silence the voices that ridicule us by saying: "Can they bring back to life the stones out of mounds of dirt, when they have been charred?"

We can, indeed, infuse life into all the parts of our life that we considered dead, and revitalize them with hope and strength.

This is what we say in Lecha Dodi: "Hitna'ari meafar kumi", 'hitna'ari' comes from the word 'na'ar', youth: "Rejuvenate yourself from the dust, arise!"

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