The former dry bones of Jews are alive and thriving
Today is Israel's Independence Day. Daniel Greenfield so eloquently explains, starting with Yechezkel (Ezekiel)'s comparison of the Jewish people to a scattered skeleton of dry bones in a barren valley:
And He said unto me: 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I answered: 'O Lord GOD, Thou knowest.
Then He said unto me: 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.
Therefore prophesy, and say unto them: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.
And so it happened. Seventy-two years after Europe, under the leadership of Germany, thought it had finally solved its "Jewish problem" by slaughtering over six million Jews along with untold millions of others, 50 years after the Muslim countries sought to do the same to the Jews in Israel, Israel is celebrating its 69th anniversary as a free and independent Jewish country in this modern era. It wasn't easy then, and maintaining it now, in the face of enemies still fanatically devoted to destroying it, has met setbacks. But the country continues to joyously thrive with an ever increasing population:
8.68 million, which is more than 10 times what it was when the state was founded in 1948.
74.7% (6.484 million) are Jewish, 20.8% (1.808 million) are Arab, both Muslim and Christian, while the remaining 4.5% (388,000) are non-Arab Christians, members of other religions or people of no religion.
There are also 183,000 foreign nationals living in Israel. Also, last year, there were 174,000 births while 30,000 people immigrated to the country.
However, Greenfield cautions:
Human beings quickly learn to take things for granted. A century ago the prospect of a Jewish state was as likely as a city on the moon. There were those who busily worked, agitated and struggled for it, but to the majority of Jews it was a distant dream. And yet as in a dream it exists. It is a matter of a plane ride for a Jew anywhere in the world to arrive there and walk its streets.
Most people think of miracles as entities of smoke and flames. As insubstantial things you cannot see or touch. The incredible and the unbelievable. But those are wonders. Miracles are everyday things whose wonder is difficult to hold in your mind. The tree that shades the lane. The sun that shines above. A state built out of the ruins of fallen empires rising like a green shoot in springtime to the light.
Now that the State of Israel exists too many take it for granted. Others have unknowingly slipped into the narrative crafted by our enemies, whose goal is to portray the State as a terrible burden, both for the Jews and for everyone else. A burden that is best dismantled for a return to Egypt.
Miracles after all are not supposed to exist and people react badly to them. When the Jews multiplied in miraculous numbers in Egypt, Pharaoh shuddered and brought out the chains and murdered their children. When G-d threw open the gates of Egypt, still he pursued them into the falling waves.
For thousands of years, The Country That Should Not Have Been, struggled against pagan invaders. And when Israel finally fell and the Jews became exiles, for thousands of years they became The People That Should Not Have Been. Now Israel is once again, The Country That Should Not Have Been.
Within a decade that land was bursting with productivity and industry. With settled cities and great works. With toil and labor and art and song. A land that had once been a pile of stones and dust. A relic of history had become new again.
And at the wall of the temple, priests who were the descendants of Aaron raised their hands once more to bless the people. "May the Lord bless you and keep you."
And he had.
None of this stilled the fury. The world does not like miracles. Miracles testify to the miraculous. They warn us of the limits of our powers. They wake the Pharaohs of the world out of their dreams of godhood and endless power. They remind they of that which they do not wish to be reminded of. That there is a G-d in this world. Miracles testify that they and their dreams of a thousand year Reich or a united world are mortal.
As Israel celebrates last year, this year, next year, all the years in Jerusalem, read Greenfield's whole post of the now full-fleshed, covered Jewish bones fulfilling the biblical prophecy in their promised home after a 2,000-year interruption, flourishing in their land despite their implacable, hate-filled enemies.