We never imagined that we would have the privilege of bearing witness to the return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel. Those dreams seemed to be unreachable; and yet, we have returned to the mountains of Jerusalem, to the ancient site of the City of David, to the path of our forefathers from Hevron to
We have returned to the mountains of Jerusalem.
Each of us who lived through 1967 - and the excitement of the feeling of awe and disbelief that we actually not only survived this war, but actually returned to reclaim our heritage - will never forget those days. Or will we? Is it only some of us who realize the miracle that we received?
When did Jerusalem become real estate? When did our history become negotiable? When did the governments of Israel begin to ignore our historical heritage and reward the murderers of our people who proclaim their intent to destroy our country?
I, for one, will never forget my first visit to Jerusalem on the first Tisha B'Av (the ninth of the month of Av, a day of mourning for the Jewish people throughout our history) following the Six Day War. Back then, the Western Wall was almost buried with rubbish, the narrow strip allowing us to approach this part of our once-glorious Temple was too small to hold the masses pushing to get closer - to touch, to reach, to kiss the stones - and leave perhaps a small note in the cracks.
Even today, after so many years and so many blessed visits to Jerusalem, my heart is lifted when I travel the path to the Kotel, when I see the return of our people to the city and to the Cave of Machpela in Hevron. For me, it is not something to take for granted, but on the contrary, something to cherish, love and appreciate - the miracle that we have been given, the return of our people to these holy sites.
I also am unable to forget the so called "Auschwitz borders" of Israel, as Abba Eban called the pre-1967 borders of Israel. How can the governments of Israel allow themselves to forget? How can these politicians who are so wrapped up in their own ambitions endanger not only these treasures, but indeed our very existence?
We, the simple people who have returned to the ancient homeland of our forefathers, have carved out a new history for our nation. We have returned to the hills and plains of our land, built thriving communities, raised families, and now the fourth generation is continuing to build and reclaim our land.
The incredible nerve of politicians to collaborate with the enemy, allow insurgents to roam freely throughout our land and, on the other hand, instruct the police to arrest loyal Jewish citizens for even merely planning demonstrations is not only unbelievable, it is unacceptable.
Our enemies openly sell T-shirts in the Muslim market in the Old City of Jerusalem decorated with the PLO flag and saying in bold print, "Liberate Palestine" ("Palestine," to them, is the entire State of Israel). This, while Jewish property is destroyed, Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza are banned from their homes, and families are imprisoned.
What happened here? Where is the backbone of our nation? Where are our people?
We, the simple Jews, living in the many communities throughout the Biblical lands of Judea and Samaria, are the answer.
The answer is really more simple than is thought. We, the simple Jews, living in the many communities throughout the Biblical lands of Judea and Samaria, are the answer. We are not afraid of looking back to our history in order to move on to ensure the future of the Jewish people in our land.
We and our children are the hope for the future, and we have emunah - strong belief - in the absolute right of our people to continue to lay claim to our beloved land. We are determined, no matter what, to fight for this, with the planting of our trees, building of our homes, educating our children in the direction we know must be taken.
We are absolutely determined because we know that governments rise and governments fall, but the land stays. Those weak politicians, along with our enemies, may plan to destroy the miracles we received, but our faith is in the eternal promise given to our people by G-d Himself - and we know that it is up to us to ensure the fulfillment of this promise. No matter how many times we are threatened, beaten, arrested, no matter how many one-sided agreements are made by the destructive governments of Israel, we must continue to fight on; and in the end we shall continue to live the miracle of our return to our homeland and heritage. We will not forget the miracle we received and will do all we can to protect this gift forever.