Our Sages teach that when Chanukah comes around, we are to thank Hashem, not only for the miracles that He performed for us in Israel long ago, but also for the miracles which He performs for us today. So, with your permission, I want to take this opportunity to thank Hashem for all of the uncountable miracles He has done for me and for the Jewish people in our time. Here are but a few.
First of all, thank you, Abba, for my life. After all, life is a miracle too. Some people think that life is coming to them, that it is some kind of automatic gift, that it’s theirs and theirs alone, and no thanks are needed. But, in truth, every second of life is a miracle. We don’t empower ourselves. Every breath, every heartbeat, is a gift from God. Seeing is a miracle. Hearing is a miracle. Put an eye on a table and it won’t see a thing. Without God’s gift of our souls, our eyes couldn’t see, our ears couldn’t hear, and we wouldn’t be able to think or walk or talk at all. It’s all a miracle! So thank you Abba for the miracle of life.
Thank you, Abba, for letting me know You are there. For almost 30 years, I didn’t know. I went about like a zombie without paying any attention. Then after I searched and searched for the Truth of life, trying everything there was to try, and doing everything there was to do, You revealed Yourself to me on a beach in California, and let me know that You are everything, hiding behind the movie set of this world, the Director of Directors.
Thank you, Abba, for the miracle of letting me realize that the Torah is true. So many people don’t realize it, especially in Hollywood where I was living when You came into my life. And thank you for opening my eyes to understand that its teachings are eternal and apply to our times as well, like a living Constitution for our lives, in each and every detail.
Thank you, Abba, for the miracle of understanding that a Jew is supposed to live in the Land of the Jews, our special Holy Land, the Land that you bequeathed to our Forefathers and all the Jewish People for all time, and not live in foreign gentile lands, with foreign languages and foreign customs, trying our hardest to be like everyone else instead of being our own proud and holy Israelite Nation in our Biblical Homeland. Why is this a miracle? Because so many of our brethren live in darkness, not understanding this great commandment of the Torah, and feeling perfectly content to live in other people’s lands, tragically missing out living the very heart and goal of the Torah, the establishment of Your holy Torah Kingdom in the Land of Israel.
Thank you, Abba, for the miracle of Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel, and for the miraculous opportunity of returning to our Land after 2000 years of wandering and suffering in alien lands, lands of persecution and assimilation that have devoured the remnants of our People, leaving us so small in number, and now, You have miraculously answered 2000 years of yearning and prayers to return to Zion.
And, thank you, Abba, not only for the miracle of our own Jewish State, but also for the miracle of realizing how much I must thank you for it, for tragically there are many who have been blinded by the darkness of exile, and they don’t see the great light, and the great obligation to thank you for this incredible miracle and kindness.
And, thank you, Abba, for putting in my heart the flame to come to Israel, and the courage to leave everything behind, family, country of birth, a successful career, sports car, famous friends, the possibility of seeing my face on People Magazine and Good Morning America.
Thank you for the miracle of health, for healing me of a chronic illness in a miraculous fashion, without medicine or surgical intervention in answer to my fervent prayers, after I threw my cortisone pills into the Pacific Ocean and relied on Your salvation alone.
Thank you for the miracle of allowing me to use the talents You gave me in the service of Am Yisrael, to help spread the truth of Your Torah, and the importance of living a holy life in Israel, as it says over and over again in the Torah itself, in the words of our Prophets, and in the teachings of our great holy Sages.
Thank you, Abba, for the miracle of my Jewish wife and Jewish children, and from having watched over me all those dark years in America when I could have married a non-Jew, and lost all connection to You completely.
Thank you, Abba, for the miracle that my children grow up speaking Hebrew, and not some foreign gentile language, and for the miracle of their growing up in their own Jewish Land, proud Israeli Jews, without mixed-up dual identities, thinking they belong to some foreign nation, when we are really the Children of Israel, and not Egyptians, or Babylonians, or Romans, or Germans, or proud Americans waving the Stars and Stripes on the Fourth of July and thinking that George Washington was our founding father.
Thank you, Abba, for providing us with the Israel Defense Forces, and all of our victories over our enemies today, like in the days of the Maccabees, and for letting me understand the supreme mitzvah of serving in our army, and for allowing me to recognize the miracles you have done for us in our wars, not like those who think it was our military power alone that saved us, or those who foolishly claim that prayer and Torah are all that we need, and who don’t want to admit that their throats would be slit by the bloodthirsty hordes of Ishmaelites who would pounce on Mea Shaarim in five minutes if not for the brave holy soldiers of Tzahal.
Thank you, Abba, for all of your miracles, those that I recognize and those that I don’t, those that You do for me and my family, and those you do for all Clal Yisrael.
May the day come soon when I will merit to witness the greatest miracle of all – when the Jews of America will open their eyes and see the emptiness of Jewish life in a foreign gentile land now that You have renewed true Jewish life in the Land of Israel.
About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" will be available soon as a DVD.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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