- Yossi Baumol
"When G-d restored the return to Zion, we thought we were dreaming." (Tehillim 126). It seems like a dream today, but people tend to forget the unbelievable power of the events of 40 years ago.
First of all, came the prophecies. On Israel Independence Day, 1967, weeks before the war broke out, two things happened which in retrospect were accepted by the people as prophecies of the great impending victory. In the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook gave his historic speech: "Where is our Hebron, where is our Shchem? That night, at the Israeli Song Festival, an unknown singer named Shuli Natan got up and sang for the first time what would later become Israel's all time favorite song – Naomi Shemer's "Jerusalem of Gold - Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" which stirred the hearts of an entire country with longings to return to Jerusalem's Old City and the Temple Mount.
Just three weeks later, Hebron, the Old City and the heartland of biblical Eretz Yisrael were suddenly and miraculously restored to an incredulous Jewish People.
The miracles didn't stop there. In the years that followed, the aftershocks of the war shook the very foundations of the Jewish people throughout the world, bringing about a phenomenal rebirth of Jewish pride, faith and confidence.
Economically speaking, Israel went from being a poor, third-world backwater country in constant recession, to today's economic powerhouse. (President Bush recently asked PM Olmert for advice on how to cut the national deficit!)
In Devarim 30, the prophecies of our return to the land and our return to our faith are intermingled, literally sentence by sentence. After the Six-Day War, these twin prophecies began to be fulfilled in tandem. The mass Aliyah movements – in the US, but even more so, in the Soviet Union - were born as a result of the Six Day War. The Teshuva movement, basically non-existent in Israel and in the Diaspora until then, flowered and grew at the same time. Suddenly, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora, where exhibiting unbelievable pride and self-sacrifice for the land and for the Torah.