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The reality of millions of Jews returning to Eretz Yisrael and the establishment of independent Jewish government is a clear watershed event in Jewish history. The Ribbono Shel Olam orchestrated a tremendous chesed for us in creating Jewish settlement in Israel after the Holocaust, says Rav Dessler, and we must not ignore His special hashgacha in doing so.

The Brisker Rav (quoted in A Divine Frown, article by Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman, Jewish Observer, December 1998) once told Rabbi Avraham Wolf of Bnei Brak, “The establishment of the state of Israel was a Divine smile.” For a similar quote from the Brisker Rav, see Rav Shlomo Wolbe’s Bein Sheshes LeAsor, p. 146.


Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky writes in Emes Le-Ya’akov (Shemos 12:2, note 17): “We must understand that the State of Israel in our day – after the great destruction [in Europe], the despair of the survivors, and given the distressed and destroyed status of Russian Jewry – was established by Hashem in order to strengthen Judaism and to maintain the link between all Jews in exile with the Jewish people.”

Rav Shraga Feivel Mendelovitz is quoted in the ArtScroll biography about him (pgs.331-332) as saying something truly remarkable:

“When Rav Shraga Feivel heard the U.N.’s decision to establish a Jewish state, he stood up and recited the HaTov VeHamaitiv blessing. In 1948, after the Arabs attacked the newly declared Jewish state and soldiers were falling on the battlefield, Rav Shraga Feivel had second thoughts for having recited the blessing. Rav Shraga Feivel turned to Rav Aharon Kotler, who agreed with him that the favorable U.N. resolution was indeed worthy of the blessing.”

Again, we quote from The Jewish Observer (“Whither Jerusalem,” September 2000):

“The Six Day War ended on a Friday morning. The return of the Kosel and the Makom HaMikdash to Jewish hands for the first time since the destruction of the Temple sparked indescribable feelings of euphoria, and even the most sober person imagined that he could hear the footsteps of Moshiach. The Israeli army cleared the area in front of the Kosel and announced that on Shavuos night, four days after the conclusion of the war, the general public would be allowed to come and daven there. The rapture of any Jew lucky to be in Jerusalem for that Yom Tov defies description.

“In the Mirrer Yeshiva, shelled by Jordanian artillery less than a week before, the entire yeshiva and its neighbors spent Shavuos night learning in anticipation of the pre-dawn walk to the Kosel. In the middle of the learning, Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz, ztl (who was later to daven at the Kosel at least once a week), delivered a shmues, in which he described the miracles and defined the tumultuous events of the previous week.”

Of course, it is difficult to focus on all of this when we consider the past seven weeks and the great loss of 64 of our solders. However, when modern events are analyzed, some of Yeshaya’s descriptions seem to come alive. This is comforting, because once we see some of the prophecies fulfilled, we understand that the fulfillment of the others is just around the corner. May all of us merit seeing it soon.

And these are some of the happenings in this week’s haftarah.


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Rabbi Boruch Leff is a rebbe in Baltimore and the author of six books. He wrote the “Haftorah Happenings” column in The Jewish Press for many years. He can be reached at [email protected].