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נֵס

 



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ירושליםThis one’s for JJ.


Forty five years ago three major Arab powers in the Middle East threatened to destroy the Jewish State and bring upon a second Holocaust. The people of Israel began to dig graves in their backyards in preparation for the worst. Then, Israel launched a preemptive attack that not only spared its certain destruction, but regained territories inhabited by Jews in ancient times, including the political and spiritual center foreseen by the Biblical prophets to be a house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 55:7), Jerusalem. Today, Israel is at peace with two of the three aforementioned powers.


Such a dramatic turnabout has several precedents in Jewish history, including the Exodus and the story of Esther. Those who don’t believe the Biblical stories have a contemporary example of this turnabout, celebrated this very day in Israel as יוֹם יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (yohm yeh-roo-shah-LAH-yeem) – Jerusalem Day.


We use the word נֵס (nes) today to mean miracle, but its meaning in Biblical Hebrew is a symbol of victory held high for all to see (also a banner or flag). Fraught with conflict, debate about their validity and existential threat in the most visceral sense, the existence Jewish Jerusalem and Israel are nevertheless נִסִּים (nee-SEEM) – plural of נס – that the world will become and is already becoming a better place.

The root of נס is נ.ס.ס (n.s.s).




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