Latest update: May 12th, 2013
During the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot we are commanded to count every day and make a daily blessing. This mitzvah of counting the Omer illustrates the process of advancing up the ladder of freedom which began by God redeeming us from Egypt and came to its culmination at Mount Sinai where the Torah was given.
In our recent history we were privileged to experience another special aspect of this period of time between Pesach and Shavuot, and as in those days of redemption from Egypt we too were given days of celebration by Hashem on the way to our redemption.
The 5th of Iyar is Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, and the 28th of Iyar is Yom Yerushalayim, the day the eternal Jewish capital of Israel was liberated and reunited. This week we again remember and experience those days of powerful injections of faith brought upon us by the God of Israel in the Six-Day War. The weeks before the war were days of fear, as the ruler of Egypt threatened to throw the Jews into the sea. Then, within a mere six days, Israel miraculously destroyed the armies of our enemies on the ground and wiped out the air forces of Egypt, Syria and Jordan while their planes were still parked on the tarmac.
Once again, with the help of the Almighty, our people were delivered from the threat of annihilation. This astounding victory paved the way for the renewed and vibrant establishment of Jewish life the heart of the Land of Israel. The physical bond with the biblical cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Beit El, Shilo and others was restored, and all of Judea and Samaria was reunited and returned to the Children of Israel.
We, as people of faith, were elevated spiritually by witnessing this great step forward in our redemption process – but even more so we recognized the divine mission and responsibility that was bestowed upon us. We realized it was our duty to proudly and persistently reinstate Jewish life on the barren hills of Judea and Samaria, re-establishing modern towns in the heart of biblical Israel. More than 41 years ago we returned to Hebron and from there the seeds of resettlement of Judea and Samaria sprouted. Today, it is gratifying to witness the phenomenon of 300,000 Jews living flourishing lives in Judea and Samaria, restoring Zionist faith and pioneering spirit to the State of Israel despite the difficulties, pain and suffering inflicted by Arab terror.
We thank God every day for living in this generation, and acknowledge the privilege of being a part of this process of spiritual renewal of the Zionist redemption process. Despite the demands of all the nations of the world, including our one ally, the United States of America, to return to the boundaries of 1967, we have succeeded in re-establishing a Jewish presence whose roots are deeply embedded in the holy soil of Judea and Samaria.
The nations of the world blindly demonstrate rejection of the basic justice and truth of the Balfour Declaration and the resolution of the League of Nations, which declared that Palestine should be a Jewish homeland. These nations are willing to negotiate with and appease Iran as well as Iran’s wicked disciples, Hizbullah and Hamas, as they attempt to establish an independent entity in the heart of our homeland.
Thank God there is a new leadership in Israel; our prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his coalition members received the support and trust of a majority of Israeli voters in order to reinstate national pride. These words are being written before the meeting between Netanyahu and President Obama in Washington. I pray and hope that the inspiration of these special miraculous days of Omer will permeate the mind and heart of the prime minister with the self-assurance of the truth of his position.
This self-confidence of a Jewish leader who realizes his responsibility and carries with him the backing of generations of Jews who dreamed of a return to Zion will transmit a clear and powerful message – a message that cannot be ignored by someone with the practical intelligence of President Obama.
Our faith and experience have taught us that the success of Jewish leadership in Israel is dependent on the recognition that the Zionist path is directed and guided by the God of Israel. Any weakness, hesitation or retreat from this path will result in the failure of the leadership and endanger the very existence of the State of Israel. At the same time, it would be absurd and counterproductive if a proud American leader like Obama yielded to the dictatorial powers of evil and destruction while twisting the arm of Israel, a close ally and champion of democracy.
About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer Waldman is rosh yeshivaof Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba.
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