This is the day that Hashem made; we shall sing out and rejoice thereon.( Psalm 118:24)
As we enter the month of Iyar , we begin the days of celebration for the establishment of the State of Israel, followed three weeks later by the day celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem. Yet there is much to consider as we approach these momentous days.
There are those that look around them and wonder: Is there anything to really celebrate? There are others that smile smugly and declare: "We told you people all along that you were wrong to support and sanctify this secular state." There are yet others who are still recovering from the blows, the injustices and the shame heaped upon them by this same state that they had so rejoiced in.
Furthermore around us, the world gathers their weapons and brandishes their swords at us. The odious specter of blatant anti-Semitism has begun to seep into every corner of our planet again. Those in the world who claim to be our friends are consistently doing the opposite of what friends and allies are expected to do.
This small beleaguered state is seemingly becoming more and more isolated.
Yet this little bastion of Divine promise is growing from success to success. The world who hates this country is at the same time reaping the benefits and enjoying the blessings of the technological, medical and agriculture innovation and discoveries of Israel. In a world that has barely survived the last financial crisis, Israel has emerged generally unscathed and whole.
In a land and region scant of water resources and long standing traditions of farming experience the trees are burgeoned with fruit and the fields overflowing with produce. A country that has multiplied its population by over 10 times in the few decades of its rebirth. People returning from Europe America, Africa, China and every small corner of the earth.
The inescapable truth is that Hashem is on the move in the world,. And that move is centered in this land
All that Hashem has promised in the book of Deuteronomy( Parshat Nitzavim) is blossoming before our eyes
And it will be, when all these things come upon you the blessing and the curse which I have set before you that you will consider in your heart, among all the nations where Hashem your G-d has banished you,2and you will return to Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul, and you will listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you this day you and your children,3then, Hashem, your G-d, will bring back your exiles, and He will have mercy upon you. He will once again gather you from all the nations, where Hashem, your G-d, had dispersed you. 4Even if your exiles are at the end of the heavens, Hashem, your G-d, will gather you from there, and He will take you from there. :5And Hashem, your G-d, will bring you to the land which your forefathers possessed, and you [too] will take possession of it, and He will do good to you, and He will make you more numerous than your forefathers. 6And Hashem, your G-d, will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, [so that you may] love Hashem your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul, for the sake of your life.( Deuteronomy 30:1-6)
So one is left with the ultimate question. Where are all our brothers and sisters? Regrettably the scourge of assimilation and secularization has dimmed the fire in many of our brethren's hearts. Yet we are assured that they too will eventually be brought home as well. Yet what about those of our people that know Hashem's will and have deeply understood His words.
I have heard from some of them that it would be too difficult. I have heard from others that there is so much holiness where they are living. I have even heard the clearly insincere declaration that they are not spiritually ready for such a move.
Yet all these arguments fall mute before one simple and frightening truth.
Those who remain in exile willingly, are bringing great desecration to G-d's Name ( Chillul Hashem)
"And I will say, 'It is not for your sake that I do this, House of Israel, but for the sake of My Holy Name that you have desecrated by being among the nations. ( Ezekiel 36:20)
That is a very heavy burden for any Jewish person to take upon their soldiers. Hashem expects His people to become His language in this world. In reality since it is Hashem’s will, that is exactly what unfolding whether is or not certain segments wish to opt out or unburden themselves of this Divine responsibility. Thankfully Hashem continues to declare that he cannot allow that to continue for too long a time.
And I will sanctify My great Name that is desecrated among the nations, and the nations will know that I am G-d, says Hashem Elokim. And I will take you from the nations and I will gather you from all the lands and I will bring you to your Land."( Ezekiel 36:20)
This Yom Haatzmaut ( Israel Independence Day) my focus will be on thanking Hashem for the great Chessed ( Loving Kindness) that He has done with my family and all my fellow countrymen by filling us with a deep love for this gift He has bestowed on His people. I will also petition Hashem that He make the way for all those that want to come, will be able to.
But I will also fervently pray that those others of my brethren still enslaved to exile, will be filled with that same spirit and desire to bring "joy" to Hashem and “come home”.