For every Jew, including me, it is time to find our way home to the Promised Land. Strangely, I was reminded of this recently, when I found myself at the swimming pool, and I had completed my laps and was in a cool down period doing some power walking in the water.
As I frequently do (like my dear father זצ״ל used to), I sing or hum quietly to myself. This time, I was humming The Hatikvah (the Israel national anthem). It is so beautiful and meaningful, carrying “The Hope” and yearning of the Jewish people to once again “be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”
As I am walking and humming this in the pool, I am surprised by a lady on the opposite side of the swimming pool who stops and says, “I think we need to stand up” in deference to the Israeli anthem. Honestly, I didn’t realize she could hear me, but she is a Jewish lady, and I respond and smile, “I already am standing up!”
She then goes on to tell me about a trip she took to visit the concentration camp, Theresienstadt in Moravia, Czechoslovakia. She told me about how they started to play The Hatikvah when they got there, and she says, “And there were two other Jews on the trip with me and they didn’t even know what it was.” That was pretty shocking 72 years after the founding of the modern State of Israel. I think on the positive side for a moment, and respond, “At least you and I know what it is!” And she gives me a big warm smile. We both go back to our pool activities; she resumes her swim and I my cool down.
But as I walk in the water, feeling both the softness and purity of the beautiful water as well as the buoyancy and resistance of it, I think to myself that no Jew should not be familiar and know The Israel national anthem. After 2,000 painful years in exile culminating in the concentration camps like Theresienstadt and The Six Million murdered Jews, we all must know that now G-d has kept his promise to our forefathers and returned us to The Holy Land.
Assuredly, we are living in the time of miracles, the redemption, and soon to be the coming of the Mashiach. Now is the time not just to hum The Hatikvah, but to bring every Jew back, including me and my family. It’s almost time to go home, where we will sing and dance, with hearts brimming over with Joy, before our L-rd, and once again go to worship at our holy Temple in Jerusalem. May it be His will! Amen.