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FOR OLDER ADULTS?
The Agencies of the Jewish Federation
Connecting People & Services
April 13 • 2006
Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach:
to test on your walls.
The Power Of Faith
However, the wellsprings of
he haftorah of this
Jewish vitality have not been
Shabbat is- based
on the tragedy that
If only we would channel
befell the Jewish people in
our energy and wisdom, our
the sixth century B.C.E.
heart and intelligence in the
In 586 B.C.E., the Holy
direction of positive Jewish
Temple in Jerusalem was
living, we Could see a new
destroyed by Babylonian
generation rising up and
invaders, the people forced
call their lives blessed.
into exile. Lost and bewil-
Special to the
There is no more impres-
dered, they were convinced
sive illustration of the
that their world had come to
Jewish capacity.for self-1
an end and that their life had
renewal than the State of Israel. Our
turned to ashes and dust. They would
generation has witnessed how the
never return to their native land; they
Jewish people, scattered to the four
would never see the. restoration of
their national honor. They stood at the corners of the earth, enduring millen-
grave of their 'own dreams, witnessing. nia of exile, have been transformed in
this past century. The Jewish people
the death of their own future.
retained their faith in a Divine prom-
In the midst of this darkness, the
ise for the restoration of Jerusalem,
prophet Ezekiel renewed their faith by
the rebuilding of the ancient home-
an awe-inspiring vision. In his vision,
land, and the coming of the day when
he is•set down in the midst of a val-
nation will no longer lift sword against
ley full of bones. God commands him
nation, but join together in peace.
to walk up and down. among these
By holding to these purposes, by
dried up bones and to tell them that
clinging to this faith and by serving as
they will turninto living bodies. With
an instrument of this transformation,
a thrilling roar, the bones are joined
the Jewish people have performed a
together, becoming human bodies
miracle of national revival. Despite the
— but motionless, lifeless.
violence directed at the Jewish state
Then, Ezekiel is summoned to call
and the despicable terrorist attacks by
on the wind- . It breathes upon the
Palestinian suicide bombers, the peo-
bones, and they come alive and stand
ple of Israel remain staunchly resolved
. upright upon the field.
to defend their land and their people,
What Ezekiel has witnessed is an
determined to remain at any cost.
allegory depicting the condition of
In Tel Aviv. is found the Azrieli
the people: a nation reduced to dried-
Towers, a 50-story Israeli version of
up bones by defeat and exile. Yet that
the World Trade Center, toppled in
nation will be restored and its life
New York City in the Sept. 11, 2001,
renewed. From the disasters of the
terrorist attacks on America. At the
present will come forth a closer unity
top of this landmark, one sees a
and •a more resolute purpose to fulfill
that destiny which God intends for them. message flashing continuously, from
dusk to dawn, Zeh b'yadim shelanu
The message to the prophet is time-
— "It's in our hands."
less. Our people must not lose faith in
Let that spirit enable us all to
spiritual renewal. There are no limits
from this dark time with our
to the spiritual force of God and to - the
and with our hope
creative power of human beings.
by the unity
The vision of the prophet teaches
an important lesson with profound
ramifications for our time. Some of
us despair of the future of Judaism.
Irwin Groner is rabbi emeritus of
Sometimes, we feel that our youth
Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Oakland
are cut off from the mainstream of
County. This article originally appeared in
Jewish life and that the sources of our
the Jewish News in March 2002.
heritage fail to inspire our children.