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The Five Miracles of Israel

avatar by David Suissa / JNS.org

Opinion

An Israeli flag waves as Israeli Air Force planes fly in formation over the Mediterranean Sea during an aerial show on Israel’s 74th Independence Day on May 5, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen

JNS.org – One of the problems with the need to always defend yourself is that you can lose sight of the big picture. In recent years, with the rise of antisemitism and anti-Zionism, the pro-Israel community has spent much of its time on the defensive. The haters attack, the community fights back. Our energy is in the fight.

But on days like Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, when we celebrate the very existence of the Jewish state, we can take a timeout from activism and marvel at the big picture.

I did that this month when I spoke at a Yom HaAtzmaut event at the Saban Theater. I marveled at “the five miracles of Israel,” miracles that can get lost in the chaos of the daily news cycle.

The first miracle is the idea of a people who waited 1,900 years to return home. After the Jews were exiled from Jerusalem and saw their Second Temple destroyed in the year 70 CE, how did they stay so patient for so long? How is it possible that over 19 centuries they never gave up on their dream?

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It helped, of course, that we were reminded of our dream in daily prayers and rituals like weddings, circumcisions and the Passover seder. These rituals held the dream, day after day, century after century. And then, 74 years ago, our patience and prayers finally paid off.

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