Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Yom Yerushalaim: The Alternate Ending

Today was Yom Yerushalaim - the anniversary of the day in 1967 when the Jewish people liberated the city of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount.  

In those six days in 1967 the Jewish people went from fearing another Holocaust to achieving an unprecedented military victory and reclaiming the historic cities of Hevron, Schem, Shiloh, Beit El, and the heartland of the state of ancient Israel.

The Six Day War had a profound impact on Jews around the world.  Being a Jew in May of 1967 was different than being a Jew in July of the same year.

Jews around the world who were ashamed to be Jewish suddenly felt a surge of Jewish pride.  The Jewish chest stuck out a bit more.  A star of David necklace could be worn above the shirt.

Many Jews were inspired to move to Israel.  Some say it was the beginning of a wave of Jews returning to their Jewish roots.

Natan Sharansky has said many times that he remembers huddling around a radio in secret in Communist Russia and hearing the famous words "The Temple Mount is in Our Hands"  He said that they didn't know what the words meant, but they all knew that they were proud to be Jewish.  And it filled them with hope.  If Israel could overcome their struggles, they could too.

Yom Yerushalaim is celebrated by Jews around the world as a day of joy and thanksgiving.

As we said Hallel this morning I had a chilling thought.  I imagined a parallel universe where the Arabs won the war in 1967.  In this alternate world the 28th of Iyar is a day of mourning and lamentations to commemorate the tragic destruction of Israel and the death of millions of Jews.  

There are museums and monuments set up to remember the short lived Jewish State, and at a special ceremony held on this day the US president and world leaders gather together to give speeches and to say "Never Again!"

The trauma of a second Holocaust so soon after the first was too much for the Jewish people to take.  Jews abandoned their Judaism en mass.  Around the world synagogues lay empty.  Assimilation increaased dramatically.  Without Israel as a focal point there was nothing left to unite the Jewish people.  The JEwish nation fell apart.

Without Israel the Middle East had no democratic presence.

There was still no Palestinian state.  The Arabs who lived there continued to suffer as Egypt, Jordan, and Syria fought for control over the land.  Without Israel the world was not interested in helping them form a state of their own.

Islamic fundamentalism continued to grow in the region, and without Israel as a scape goat all of the ire was focused on America.

Iraq was the first to develop nuclear weapons as their was no country to prevent them from doing so.  The other Islamic countries soon followed.  Life in that world is bleak.

Thank God Israel won and the Jewish people live on!  And while I doubt that the president and other world leaders will flock to Jerusalem or Hevron to celebrate their liberation any time soon, we know that the world is a better place because of Israel's victory on that day.  

Yom Yerushalaim is a pivotal day in the history of the world.  

May Hashem continue to bless His people and His land.  May Israel and its people dwell in security.  And may Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and the entire world soon see a day of peace, prosperity and happiness for everyone.

Happy Yom Yerushalaim!



    You were not the first to think about it. I found this book in my in-laws' house once and flipped through it. Chilling

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