|The Kotel Plaza|
Last Friday, right after Holocaust Remembrance Day, I met someone I know at the Kotel. Her arm with its blue tattoo held tight to her cane. Her other arm was supported by her daughter who guided her to a seat. Despite her age she held her head regally and I imagine she was full of pride. For she’d come to the Kotel to celebrate another milestone. Her not-quite thirteen-year-old great-grandson was putting on his tefillin for the very first time. When she was liberated from Auschwitz seventy-three years ago I’m sure she never thought she’d would one day see four generations of her family living in the Jewish state and serving HaShem faithfully.
My neighbor’s parents also survived the Holocaust. When they died, well into their nineties, they left behind one hundred grandchildren. Those grandchildren learn in yeshivas, give years of their lives to the army and national service, and are integral citizens of the Holy Land. What a sweet revenge on Hitler.
Every time I look into the mirror I can see another miracle. Not only did my father and his family escape Nazi Germany, allowing me to exist, I also managed to stay Jewish despite the fact I grew up in the middle of the Bible Belt. If that wasn’t enough of a wonder, I managed to move to the heartland of Israel and raise an observant, Israeli family.
I know one can see miracles everywhere but I think they’re more visible in the Jewish Homeland. For how can we possibly explain how such a tiny country, surrounded by enemies and constantly condemned, can have not just grown, but thrived? Israelis are leaders in medicine, technology, agriculture and more.
Most of all, though, we’re experts in survival. As we enter our seventieth year as an independent nation no one can deny the marvel of our existence. We may have to deal with war, terror, and other problems, but we are here to stay. For I believe, with perfect faith, that HaShem will continue to assure our existence until He sends us the most perfect miracle and our Redeemer will come. I’m so thankful that He has allowed me to live here and give my descendants a front row seat for the most major miracle of all.