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August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
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The Last Secular Jew in Israel

Operation Hallel

Yehuda picked up the bearded man next to him and gave him a kiss. Radio communiques bursted over the control center’s receivers. A dispatch from the Golan Heights reported that a storm of hailstones bigger than basketballs had paralyzed Syria’s tank force. Tidal waves had overturned enemy battleships and submarines like toys. An earthquake registering 9.2 on the Richter Scale had devastated Jordan, and twenty divisions of the royal army had plummeted into the earth.

“I can’t believe it,” Yehuda said, but his own eyes were seeing that the words of the Hallel were true….

“This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us exult and rejoice in Him.”

Within minutes, the cities of Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, and Tehran disappeared from the map. Half the country of Libya fell into the sea. Amidst the celebration in the war room, only the Chief Rabbi noticed that something was wrong. Somehow, a slower, out-of-date bomber from Poland had kept straight on target. It appeared over Mevasseret Zion and roared noisily toward Mount Moriah. All eyes turned toward Yehuda.

“How’d it get through?” someone yelled.

“Bring it down!” another demanded.

“It’s too late,” Yehuda answered.

The throng at the Temple Mount gazed up into the Jerusalem sky and watched two small dots grow bigger. They stood there, unwilling to believe, until, seemingly all at once, they realized what the falling dots were. “Bombs!” someone shouted. People scattered in every direction. In the war room, even the face of the Chief Rabbi was pale. Yehuda looked around the room for someone to do something, to say something, to pray something, to sing. But nobody moved, nobody spoke, as if something had gone terribly wrong.

“Do something, God,” Yehuda prayed for the first time in his life.

The first bomb landed by the Kotel with an earth-shaking THUD. The impact caused a deep crater, but the explosion never came. The other bomb landed with a THUNK a short distance away. The stones in the Western Wall trembled. For an eternal moment, everyone waited without taking a breath – the thousands clinging to the ground at the Kotel; the men in the war room; the millions of viewers on TV. Only the King remained erect at the Wall.

“They’re not going to blow up!” Yehuda exclained.

It was almost as if the people at the Kotel could hear him. Everyone stood on their feet and raised their hands to the sky. Their cheer resounded all over the world. Crowds rushed forward to peer down the craters at the bombs which didn’t go off. The Chief Rabbi collapsed, exhausted in his chair, not sure himself if this last miracle was the Finger of God, or plain Polish ineptitude.

“The bombs have mysteriously failed to explode,” an American TV reporter explained to his satellite viewers. “A freak technical failure has saved the city of Jerusalem today. Unusual weather conditions, thick fog, and a chance summer hailstorm, have paralyzed the world’s nuclear arsenal and spared the indestructible Jewish nation.”

“The hell with unusual weather conditions,” Yehuda exclaimed.

On the screen in the war room, the CNN reporter continued his eyewitness coverage. “Scientists from the Cape Kennedy Research Center in Florida are saying that planetary disturbances which transpired over two billion light years ago are the cause of the startling events,” he explained.

“Shtuyot!” Yehuda said loudly. “That’s utter nonsense. God did it all. God saved us. It was Him, plain as day!”

Yehuda turned to the Chief Rabbi. “Can’t they see it?” he asked.

A kind, wise smile spread over the Rabbi’s face. “It’s hard enough for our own people to see it,” he answered. “What do you expect from the goyim?”

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.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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2 Responses to “The Last Secular Jew in Israel”

  1. chavazlotkin says:

    Wow! B’karov b’yameinu!

  2. chavazlotkin says:

    Tzvi, I’m glad you didn’t really go back to Hollywood!

Comments are closed.

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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