The Miracle That Wasn't Acknowledged…Enough
I waited until after Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, to write this. The holiday on the 28th of Iyar celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967, Six Day War. I remember the dread in the weeks before the war, and the sense that Israel was alone except for God. We gathered in Yeshiva everyday to cry out our hearts to God. Some of my father’s students flew to Israel to take care of basic needs while all the reservists were at the numerous fronts.
The joy we experienced when Israel recaptured the Old City of Jerusalem was indescribable. We were all convinced that God had intervened in a miracle as spectacular as the Splitting of the Sea. We were walking on air. We had no doubt that the Messiah was coming.
Tens of thousands of Israelis streamed into Jerusalem, many for the first time in their lives. They, too, believed that a great miracle had occurred and wanted to share in the joy of all Jews from all over the world. When they arrived in the Jerusalem central bus station they saw signs declaring; “This Was Not A Miracle.” The Signs had been placed by people who reject the State of Israel and consider it an affront to God.
Many of us were furious. How could anyone do that?
More than 40 years later, I wonder how many of us truly believed that it was a miracle. Some communities recite Hallel and consider Yom Yerushalayim to be a Holy Day. Many communities do not even know that there is such a holiday celebrated by communities all over the world.
My question is: How should we respond to such a great miracle? Would even greater miracles have happened if we all responded to this world changing event by acknowledging the miracle? If we had said to God, “We are listening. We acknowledge what You did for us,” would He have responded with more such, or even greater miracles?
I passionately believe in our relationship with God, and that we determine the level of His involvement by our responses. Was our response enough? Should we not have united, all of us, in celebrating Yom Yerushalayim, reaching a much higher level of relationship?
I dare not challenge the decisions of Rabbis so much greater, wiser and holier than I. However, my heart pains me. I am convinced that we lost an opportunity.
I cry for you, Jerusalem, not only because you have yet to be fully restored. I weep for you Jerusalem because I suspect that we could have and can do more to reach out to God in such a way that He will rebuild you as never before.
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