web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



The Miracle Of Israel’s Rebirth

The Jerusalem Great Synagogue

The Jerusalem Great Synagogue

As Jews, history is our everyday companion. The past is not just prelude. It is present.It is today. It is now. The very idea of forgetting our history is anathema to an engaged and aware Jew seeking to live a meaningful and spiritual Jewish life.

To be such a Jew is to ask Who am I? and to know that the question – and its answer – must be weighed against the awesome backdrop of our history.

I feel the power of this burden and gift – both temporal and spiritual – when I daven in Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue on the Yamim Noraim and Sukkot. There, the tefillot, led by world renowned Chazzan Chaim Adler and accompanied by the incomparable choir and maestro Eli Jaffe, lift my spirit to soaring heights.

Is there any other time in one’s life when one can feel any closer to God’s heavenly chorus? There are those who compare the experience to what it must have been like to hear the Levi’im in the Beit HaMikdash.

The aura, the dignity, the ruach of Chazzan Adler and Eli Jaffe’s musical genius cannot help but lift one heavenward.

There are, of course, other magnificent synagogues. Los Angeles. Vienna. Budapest. Rome. New York. These and other cities around the globe boast wonderful houses of worship, filled too with the voices of angels. But the Great Synagogue is in Jerusalem. How can it help but fill one with inspiration? When Chazzan Adler chants the Ribbono shel Olam before the open Ark on the Yomim Noraim, I can feel the personal conversation he is having with God.

Fulfill my requests for good, grant my request, be mindful of us for deliverance and compassionremember us for a good, long lifegive us bread to eat, clothes to wear…”

Every human need is articulated in this bakashah.

Such a powerful prayer. But powerful as well are the prayers affirming the miracle of the rebirth of Israel in 1948, as well as the prayers affirming the ultimate sacrifice of those who gave their lives so that we could have a rebuilt Eretz Yisrael.

“…[S]hield it under the wings of Your loving kindness and spread over it the Tabernacle of peace…. Strengthen the hands of the defenders of our Holy Landcrown them with the crown of victory…”

How can one not be moved to tears as he reflects on the miracle of every stone and each blade of grass in this blessed land that God has ordained to return to His children after so many centuries of galut?

I was born just weeks after the state’s own miraculous birth, as the War of Independence raged. My parents arrived in Palestine on the very last boat to sail from Romania. They were broken and degraded but they were determined to find renewal in the Holy Land. For my family, galut and geulah are not chapters in a history book. They are real life experiences.

How could I not, then, stand in the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem and shed tears – tears of joy and tears of pain, tears that bear witness to the wholeness of our history, our suffering and our deliverance? Yet even as I cry – even as I listen to the sacred words of thanksgiving, joy, hope, and trepidation – I cannot help but think of Brooklyn – where hardly a synagogue even contemplates reciting these sacred words.

How, given the reality of our history, can such a thing be?

* * * * *

For my family, for me, Yom HaShoah and Yom Ha’Atzmaut have never been mere dates on the calendar but, rather, days filled with heart-piercing memories that demand reflection, remembrance, and, ultimately, by the grace of God, celebration. So it was for all other Jews I grew up with.

About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at e1948s@aol.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Miracle Of Israel’s Rebirth”

  1. The Lord Bless you and Keep you always!!!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A would-be preacher delivers his message of hate from the Muslim"holy site" on the Temple Mount.
Al Aqsa Mosque ‘Stand-Up’ Preacher Calls for Annihilation of the United States
Latest Indepth Stories
Greiff-112814-Levaya

My son is seventeen; he didn’t want to talk about what happened, or give any details of the Rosh Yeshiva’s words of chizuk.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

Charley Levine

Prominent Jewish leaders acknowledged that their predecessors had mistreated the Bergson Group.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem

The Jew’s crime is his presence.

Hamas’s love for death tried to have as many Palestinian civilians killed as possible

Israel recognizes the fabrication called a Palestinian nation; So what do we want from the Swedes?

Arab attacking Jews in the land date back a century, long before Israel was created or in control.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Unfortunately, at present, the rabbinate does not play a positive role in preventing abuse.

Egypt’s al-Sisi is in an expansionist mood. He wants Israel’s permission to take over Judea and Samaria.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliyahu Safran
800px-Israel_Hebron_Cave_of_the_Patriarchs

Racheli Frankel: “I didn’t think they were thrown just anywhere. The tears of Hebron embraced them”

Jonah and the Whale (2012) 23 x 23, bronze relief by Lynda Caspe.

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

What defines kana’ut these days? Throwing rocks at passing cars on Shabbos? Burning an Israeli flag on Yom Ha’Atzmaut?

One who may leave his wife an agunah is not included in the general rule that we may not imprison on Shabbos.

“Fulfill my requests for good, grant my request, be mindful of us for deliverance and compassion…remember us for a good, long life…give us bread to eat, clothes to wear…”

Too often, as parents and teachers, we think it means talking at our children, delivering to them good and worthy content that they should simply hear and assimilate into their minds and hearts.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/the-miracle-of-israels-rebirth/2014/04/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: