Holocaust Day, commemorated this past week, is the day that we memorialize what happened when G-d turned His face from us and allowed the Holocaust to happen – a major desecration of His Name in the world. “And they desecrated My Holy Name when it was said about them, ‘These are G -d’s nation and they have gone out of His Land.’” The exile itself is a desecration of G-d’s Name, says the prophet in Ezekiel 36:20.
But Ezekiel continues his prophecy: “And I will say, ‘It is not for your sake that I do this, House of Israel, but for the sake of My Holy Name that you have desecrated among the nations. And I will sanctify My great Name that is desecrated among the nations, and the nations will know that I am G-d, says Hashem Elokim. And I will take you from the nations and I will gather you from all the lands and I will bring you to your Land.”
Israel’s Independence Day, coming up in just over a week, represents just the opposite of the Holocaust: a sanctification of G-d’s Name. On the ground, however, things seem to have gone awry. Since the establishment of the State of Israel and particularly when most of our Land was liberated in the Six Day War, we did not officially acknowledge and thank G-d for His miracles. The “My might and power of my hand” syndrome has not yet been dispelled. As a nation, Israel has yet to recognize that it was G-d behind the momentous and miraculous events that gave birth to the State of Israel.
G-d’s directing hand, though, does not allow us to deceive ourselves for long. Our attempts to solve the “Jewish problem,” to “normalize” the Jewish Nation and to transform it into a nation like all other nations is shattering before our eyes. The more that we try to be normal and the more that we lose our connection to our Jewish identity – the more that we lose our national legitimacy.
This year we will celebrate Independence Day with thanks to G-d for the wonderful opportunity that He has given us. In addition, we must promise ourselves to work hard to establish Jewish leadership that will give credit where credit is due: to the Holy One, Blessed Be He. We need real Jewish leadership that will help us to be ourselves: the Jewish Nation, the children of the Creator, who are working to perfect the world. Our independence and freedom depend on it.