Yom Yerushalayim Thoughts: A Matter of Perspective
Unfortunately, for a few different reasons, my heart is not full at the moment (although perhaps that will change as the day progresses), so instead of writing another "downer" of a post, I am going to share some words of Torah and inspiration from Rabbi Moshe Lichtman's new sefer entitled: "Eretz Yisrael in the Parashah" from the section devoted to Yom Yerushalayim that I found to be particularly meaningful (and hopefully you will, as well):
Before doing so, as this is my blog, I am going to take the liberty of endorsing this tremendous sefer, where Rabbi Lichtman has compiled every single source relating to Eretz Yisrael in the entire Torah, sharing with us both his own wisdom, and that of our sages, leaving no doubt of the centrality of the Land of Israel to the Jewish People and the necessity of the Jewish People living in the Land of Israel in order to fulfill our collective destiny.
"Eretz Yisrael in the Parashah" can be found in book stores in Israel for +/-95 NIS. It should be reaching the bookstores in Chu”l in the near future.
... When one reads accounts of the Six Day War, one cannot help but be awestruck by the magnitude of the events that took place in Eretz Yisrael just four decades ago. Whether we call our victory a miracle, Divine intervention, or Divine Providence, anyone who is not blinded by preconceived notions has to admit that what transpired here was of biblical proportions. Even enemy soldiers, foreign journalists, and secular Israelis admitted that G-d's hand was at work.
Therefore, one is completely dumbfounded when one encounters... people - often very religious Jews - who deny the extraordinary nature of the times in which we live. How can anyone fail to see the Divine Providence at work behind the scenes (and quite often in full view) in the Holy Land?...
...It is well known that the manna, the heavenly bread that B'nei Yisrael ate in the desert, tasted like anything a Jew wanted it to taste like. But what - asked the Chafetz Chayim - did the manna taste like to a person who did not think of anything in particular while eating it? One is forced to say that the manna did not taste heavenly at all to such a person. Only one who contemplated his actions and gave thought to what he was eating tasted the delicacies of the manna...
The same is true - concluded the Chafetz Chaim - of the advent of Mashiach. At that time, G-d will reveal His Shechinah to the entire world, but only those who contemplate the historical processes unfolding before their very eyes will sense the extraordinary nature of the times in which they live. "He who does not reflect upon the coming of the Mashiach will not feel anything at all." (Cited in HaTekufah HaGedolah, p. 20)
...Finally, the famed Nazir of Jerusalem, R. David Cohen zt"l, shed new light upon a prayer we say three times a day: "V'techazenah eineinu b'shuvchah l'Zion b'rachamim". on a simple level, we beseech G-d, "May our eyes behold your merciful return to Zion." That is, may we please be zocheh to witness Your eventual return to Jerusalem. However, the Nazir added another, more "updated" dimension to the prayer. He explained that when G-d returns to Zion there will be those who will not recognize the events for what they truly are. Therefore, we pray to G-d: "When You actually restore Your Shechinah to its proper place, please let us see what is taking place before our very eyes. Let us not be blinded by peripheral events, whose purpose is to conceal Your great light; and let us not be influenced by those who (willingly or not) fail to see beyond the superficial."
Over the past sixty years (and more) we have witnessed events of such great magnitude that it would not be presumptuous to say that G-d is clearly returning to Zion. Let us just open our eyes and enjoy the view; and let us show Hashem how much we truly appreciate all that He has done for us so far and all that He continues to do for the sake of out ultimate redemption."