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Rabbi's Blog: Yom Ha'Atzmaut

04/26/2023 12:01:17 PM




Dear OZ family,


The prophet, Yirmiyahu predicted that when the exiles finally make their way back to Israel, that the miracle of such a return would eclipse the miracles of the redemption from Egypt. It is on the basis of this prophecy that Rav Shimon ben Zoma in the Mishna (which appears in the Haggadah as well), expounds the extra word “Kol” in “Kol Y’mei Chayecha” to teach that we are to remember the Egyptian redemption by day as well as by night. An opposing opinion expounds the extra word to derive that we will continue to remember the Egyptian redemption even after the Messianic arrival. The Halacha sides with Ben Zoma (and Rabbi Elazar Ben Azaria who quotes him), since we do refer to the Egyptian redemption every night.


The Gemara teaches that this Mitzva will not disappear in the future, only that it will be eclipsed by new celebrations for future redemptions. We will not forget the great miracles of Yetziat Mitzrayim that we read about in Sefer Shemot and that we just expounded in the Pesach Haggadah. The Gemara teaches that the miraculous nature of the return from the exiles will make for even greater stories and lead to even greater joy and celebration.


In the Biblical days of Ezra and Nechemiah, approximately 1 in 100 Jews made aliya to Israel to begin our second commonwealth. From the time of the Assyrian dispersal, 200 years before then, Israel has never seen an influx of Jews to our homeland as we have seen in the last 75 years. That is reason enough to celebrate this as miraculous. There are now more Jews in the Holy Land than in the Diaspora as we are seeing Biblical prophecies realized in the miracle that is the State of Israel (see especially Yirmiyahu 31 and Amos 9- this week’s Haftara!).


I am attaching below this message the front page of the New York Times the day after Israel declared its independence. The coverage is balanced and fair. A modern day miracle would be if Israel could get fair and balanced coverage from that same outlet today.


Chag Sameach.


Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street | New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200 | Fax 212.663-3635



Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784