One of the most amazing stories in Jewish history is recorded in the journal of Professor Israel Eldad, the chief ideologue of the Lehi.
“Some time in 1953, a remarkable series of ancient letters was discovered in the Judean desert. These were the letter of the last commander of Judea, Simon Bar Kochba, the leader of the last great revolt against the Romans…. The letters, addressed to commanders in various theaters of operation, were personally signed by him. Now they are on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
“This by itself is an outstanding archaeological discovery. But it is not the most miraculous part of the story. The true miracle lies in the fact that the person who discovered the letters of the last Jewish commander was the well-known archeologist, General Yigael Yadin, effectively the first commander of the new Jewish army.
“For 1,820 years Bar Kochba’s letters lay hidden in the Judean desert, in clay pots where they were preserved for some unknown date in the future.… They were waiting until they reached their final destination. The letters of Bar Kochba, the last commander of the Jewish army, thus reached the first commander of the new Jewish army after 1,820 years as if by personal delivery….”
What Israel Eldad does not write about is what Bar Kochba wrote in those letters and how relevant it is today. He ordered his men to deliver palm branches, and citrus fruits – lulavs and etrogs, to his soldiers in the battlefield. It was Sukkot and his Torah-observant troops wanted to serve God while they served in His army.
Those letters are a call to us from the days of Rabbi Akiva. The modern state of Israel and the ancient Torah of Israel are intertwined. Jewish history and Jewish destiny are coming together. Serving in the Jewish army and serving God, learning to defend ourselves and learning Torah is our way. It always has been.
This is our chance. To revive Zionism, to renew Judaism, to infuse the Jewish Soul into the Jewish State. To bring the spirit of Torat Yisrael to Diaspora communities and the Diaspora to Israel and to bring all Jews together.