Tuesday, May 10, 2011

YOM HA'ATZMAUT: Of clouds and pigeons

Today is the 6th day of Iyar, 5771/ 21 days of Omer (3 weeks)

The Torah (Debarim 30), predicted the exile of the Jewish people to all four corners of the planet and also predicted that they will come back home (30:5,6). The prophet Yeshayahu (Chapter 60) elaborated with the most beautiful words on how (not "when") this prophecy will be carried out. He said to the Land of Israel that: (60:4) "your sons will come from afar, and your daughters, carried on the arm..." At that time, there will be those who will (60:8)"fly along like clouds, and those who will fly like pigeons to their nests".

Rabbi Simcha Kook, chief Rabbi of Rehovot, once explained to me why the Prophet used the motif of clouds and pigeons. Clouds and pigeons represent two opposite extremes in terms of motion. Clouds do not control their movement. They are moved by winds and cannot oppose them. On the other hand, pigeons, out of all birds, have an extraordinary (and still scientifically inexplicable!) sense which enable them to return home from any location in the world, even thousands of miles away. They would not rest until they arrive home, defying winds and storms; until they get to their loft.

There will be Jews who, like clouds, will return to the land of Israel moved "by winds." Political winds, financial winds, winds of persecution, all of them divine winds, which will force these Jews to come back to their homeland. And there will be other Jews who, like pigeons, will come from far away, and struggle against winds, driven by their instincts, to return home: to their loft, to their nest.

At the end, no matter if they came back as clouds or as pigeons, all Jews will be reunited back in the land of Israel. To fulfill the greatest prophecy and to rebuild the most beautiful home for Jewish people, Medinat Israel.

Yom ha'Atzmaut Sameach!!!!


Benjamin Netanyahu's address for Yom ha'Atzmaut 5771:


Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024