Yesterday, I wrote about former Polish president (1990-1995) Lech Walesa, who had written on his April 26, 2016 Facebook page that he regrets he is not Jewish and that there are no Jewish members in his family. “I would like to be a part of the Chosen People but I am not,” the post said.
If Lech Walesa would like to be a part of the Chosen People, he can become Jewish; it is never too late. Even if he does not, just the fact that he publicly expressed his desire might stimulate hundreds of Poles who feel some attraction to Judaism and the Jewish people to visit one of the four progressive Jewish congregations in Warsaw, or one of the half dozen progressive Jewish congregations in other cities in Poland.
In these synagogues these Poles who feel some attraction to Judaism and the Jewish people could join thousands of other Poles who have already discovered they have a Jewish heart, mind and /or a Jewish ancestor.
The amazing revival of Jewish life in Poland after 1989 is a miracle of the Jewish spirit similar to what happened 2,500 years ago to the depressed, lifeless, dried up Jewish exiles living in Babylonia.
Seeing the Babylonian exiles, the prophet Ezekiel envisioned a Divine perspective of a wide valley filled with very dried up bones. (Ezekiel 37:1-2) God asked him, “Can there bones live (revive)? And I answered, Adonai (only) you know.” (Ezekiel 37:3)
God then tells Ezekiel to speak to these dried-out Jewish bones, “I will bring spirit into you and you shall live (revive).” (37:5) The dried up bones are reassembled; but they are lacking in spirit. (37:7-8) God directs Ezekiel to speak to the spirit, that the four winds breathe spirit into these slain, that they may live. Ezekiel does as Adonai commands and the slain revive; standing up like a very great army. (37:9-10)
Adonai tells Ezekiel, “These bones are the whole House of Israel. They say: Our bones are dried up , our hope is lost, we are doomed.” Say to them; Adonai says, I am going to open your graves; lift you out of your graves (the 1,400+ Jewish cemeteries in Poland that many people think are all that is left of Polish Jewry), and I will bring you, my people, (back) to the land of Israel (most Polish Jewish survivors did go to the land of Israel). (37:11-12)
Of the 3.5 million Jews in pre-occupation Poland, three million Jewish bodies were turned literally into ashes and dry bones under Nazi rule. Of the Jews who remained in Poland living under Communist rule, almost all survived physically, but most were killed spiritually.
In the decades after the fall of the Communist government in 1989, some dried-up Jewish bones started to revive. Will this reborn Jewish community stand up like an army? Only God knows.
But if each of us reaches out to others, who are also descendants of dried up Jewish souls, we can be part of the on going miracle of Jewish survival and rebirth, both in the land of Israel and in the Diaspora.
And if Lech Walesa helps in that process he can become part of the revival of the Chosen People in Poland.