For the week ending 7 July 2007 / 21 Tammuz 5767

The Wonder of the World

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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No, this is not a telephone number!

This is the date when in Lisbon, Portugal there will take place the "Official Declaration of the New Seven Wonders of the World".

A Swiss organization came up with an idea several years ago that the time had come to replace the old list of the seven wonders of the ancient world with a new one which would be chosen democratically by the citizens of the world. Towards this end a committee of historians, engineers and experts in various fields selected 21 sites from which voters can choose. The date chosen for the declaration of the results is one that symbolizes the number of the winners.

Some of the leading candidates are the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Great Wall of China, the EiffelTower in Paris and the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico. The TwinTowers would probably have been on the list but the al-Qaida terrorists voted against this architectural wonder with their suicide attack.

What about the wonders of the Jewish world?

In the old list of the seven ancient wonders, the Colossus of Rhodes which was only 31 meters high was included, while the Second Beit Hamikdash, which rose to a magnificent height of 50 meters, was left out. But who could really expect inclusion of a Jewish Temple which the nations of the world utterly destroyed!

The same point may be made in regard to the new list of candidates for recognition as a wonder of the world. What other country can claim to have such impressive walls of antiquity as the walls of the Old City ofJerusalem? Again, there is no need to wonder why this wonder was left out since so much of the world refuses to recognize Israel's right to the area these walls enclose.

When all is said and done, however, the People of Israel themselves represent the greatest wonder of all. "There is no greater proof of G-d running His world," commented a Torah sage, "than the survival of one lamb among seventy wolves."

The Jewish People need no buildings to express the great wonder of their survival. They do look anxiously forward to the day when all mankind will recognize the Third Beit Hamikdash as the greatest wonder of all.

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