I have come back online after observing the Jewish Sabbath to read about the Obama administration’s shameful parting shot at Israel: the abstention on the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in “Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967”, including East Jerusalem. In doing so, they broke with almost 50 years of US abstentions from such anti-Israel resolutions, and forever cemented this administration as the most hostile towards the Jewish state.
Going into Shabbat, I thought the resolution had been dead and buried after Egypt, the original sponsor, withdrew it, in a sure sign that 1) we may be nearing the end of days (I mean, who would have thought Egypt would ever do something like that?!) and 2) soon-to-be President Donald Trump is going to do things differently (and I mean that in a good way, especially coming off this disaster of an administration). But apparently, New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Senegal – clearly countries with a huge stake in the Middle East and affected significantly by Jews building more houses in their ancestral homeland (yes, I am being sarcastic) – revived it to force a vote. And the rest is history. Shameful history.
Much has already been said about it, and it will be discussed for days, months, years and even generations to come. Many people have noted that the timing of this almost coincides with Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, which, according to the Obama administration, is illegally occupied by Israel.
We observe Hanukkah for 8 days to celebrate the miracle that occurred back then; one-day’s supply of oil lasted 8 days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the Temple menorah. But our sages ask “Why do we celebrate Hanukkah for 8 days? The miracle was really 7 days, since there was already enough oil for one day.”
I heard the answer that while the outward miracle was indeed for 7 days, it is also a miracle that oil burns at all. It is one of the many hidden miracles that we experience daily. So even day one was a miracle for which we should be thankful.
There are many other things that we take for granted, but which are also hidden miracles (i.e. can be explained by ‘natural’ phenomena). I see the establishment of the modern state of Israel as one of those. So while the UN, with Obama’s help, has just passed a resolution that seeks to impose on us the perilous armistice lines from after Israel’s war of independence, we will survive this, just like we have survived all other attacks on us and our very existence.