As our day-to-day life came to a brief, but total halt this morning during the one-minute siren calling upon us to remember the six million who perished in the Nazi Holocaust, it got me thinking about how that dark chapter was such an utter defeat, not for the Jewish people, but for the enemies of Israel.
Yes, the Jewish people suffered an unfathomable tragedy, and one that would have debilitated most other nations. But, as I sat in the park yesterday evening with my children, surrounded by hundreds of other Israeli families who were also there to participate in a ceremony marking the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I realized something.
We are just 75 years after a nearly-successful attempt to wipe out most of the world’s Jewish population. And yet, the nation of Israel has never been stronger, more successful or more influential on the world stage than it is today.
The Nazis (and the bigger Enemy that stood behind them and all those who previously tried to annihilate Israel) succeeded in snuffing out six million individual Jewish lights. In their place arose in the form of the reborn State of Israel a beacon of light visible around the globe. The Enemy lost. Israel and the Jewish people are more at the forefront than ever before.
It sounds unprecedented, unbelievable, absurd even!
The prophet Isaiah thought as much when he first heard about what would happen thousands of years before it occurred:
“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:8).
And yet, here we are.