Love of the Land

For the week ending 24 November 2012 / 9 Kislev 5773

A Heavenly Sign

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

The German forces under General Rommel were advancing towards Eretz Yisrael and Jews there feared that they might face the same fate as their brothers in Europe. In the summer of 1941 many of them gathered at the grave of the Ohr Hachayim on the Mount of Olives. They chose to do so on the day of his Yahrzeit in order to give greater power to their prayers for Heavenly deliverance from the threatening Nazis.

Among the worshippers was the Chassidic leader Rabbi Yisrael of Hasaytin who had set up his court in Tel Aviv a few years earlier. The crowd was stunned as he suddenly cried out, "The wicked will not come. They will not enter Eretz Yisrael!"

"I have just seen the Divine Name of G-d shining brightly," he explained. "This is a Heavenly sign that the enemy will never enter the land."

Within a year Rommel was stopped at El Alamein only 60 miles west of Alexandria on the Israel-Egypt border, and by the beginning of 1943 the German forces were driven so far back that the threat to Eretz Yisrael was gone.

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