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You want a miracle?
By Bernard J. Shapiro
I went to call on the L-rd in His house on the high hill, My head full of
anxiety over five million Israeli Jews, having to grow up overnight. "If ever
a people, L-rd, needed a miracle!" The Lord He looked at me as a mountain
might look at a molecule. "So you want a miracle, "said the L-rd. "My, my!
You want a miracle." I suppose you mean that you want me to come sliding down
a sunbeam and make five million egotists overnight into five million
co-operative angels. "Brother, "said the L-rd, in a voice that shook the
windows, "that isn't the sort of universe you're living in. And that isn't
the sort of G-d I am."
The room was suddenly vast, with the stars set bright in the ceiling. "There
is only one miracle," said the L-rd. "All else is cause and effect. All else
is law." The thunder withdrew from the Voice, and the words came hushed and
clear like the first stars in the twilight, each star a newborn glory. "There
is only one miracle, and it is already accomplished. That miracle is the soul
of the Jewish people.
The L-rd He lifted His head and the Milky Way was His hair. "The Jewish soul
is like the atom," He said. "Wonderfully like the atom. Consider the atom. So
minute, no lens you can make can enlarge it to a point where your eye can see
it, yet there's a whole solar system inside it , whirling round a nucleus
like the planets around the sun. So feeble in its unreleased state, yet
actually the greatest force, save one, in creation. The greatest force in
creation, save one."
The L-rd strode through His house so the timbers whispered to each other,
"He's thinking of the soul tonight, of the Jewish soul, and the power asleep
in the soul. He always shakes the house when He thinks of the power, the
power asleep, asleep in the Jewish soul."
"I have given you a soul, "cried the L-rd, "and you ask me to come down and
do a magician's trick! The people who smashed the atom didn't beg Me to come
with a thunderbolt and split the nucleus for them. They knew that there was
power in the atom and they set to work to release it.
"There is power in the Jewish soul, When you break through and set it free,
Like the power of the atom. More powerful than the atom, It can control the
atom, One of the few things in the world that can. I told you that the atom
is the greatest force in the world, save one. That one is the Jewish soul."
"But," said the L-rd--and the stars in the sky seemed to stand still and
listen--"The power must be released, as the atom-smashers released the power
of the atom. They had to get past the electrons to get at the energy packed
in the nucleus. And I have to get past a great deal of ego to release the
power that is packed in the Jewish soul. I keep shooting My rays toward the
nucleus, And the charged field keeps fending then off. But now and then one
gets by, The nucleus is split, the power is released and things begin to
happen on a scale that makes men gasp and talk about miracles. The rebirth of
Israel and the ingathering of the exiles is one such miracle. The spectacular
victories of the Israeli army against overwhelming odds is another. But it
isn't a miracle. It's just the soul of the Jew coming to its own. It's just
the Jewish soul freed at last to be itself."
The L-rd He looked at me and His eyes pierced like hot wires. "Perhaps,
there's something in you and numerous others that will have to be cracked
open, if five million Israelis are going to grow up overnight. Something in
you," said the L-rd, "something, perhaps, in you."
That was a joke, and I laughed. But the L-rd wasn't laughing. I hastened to
reassure Him. "There's nothing the matter with me. It's the other fellow
that's the trouble, all five million of them."
"I know all about the other five million Israelis," said the L-rd, and I
thought he seemed a little tired as he said it, "but I don't at the moment
seem able to see anyone but YOU."
Bernard J. Shapiro is the executive director of the Freeman Center For
Strategic Studies and editor of its monthly Internet
magazine, THE MACCABEAN ONLINE.
from the March Passover 2002 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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