(א) וַֽיִּשְׁמְע֔וּ צָרֵ֥י יְהוּדָ֖ה וּבִנְיָמִ֑ן כִּֽי־בְנֵ֤י הַגּוֹלָה֙ בּוֹנִ֣ים הֵיכָ֔ל לַיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ (ב) וַיִּגְּשׁ֨וּ אֶל־זְרֻבָּבֶ֜ל וְאֶל־רָאשֵׁ֣י הָֽאָב֗וֹת וַיֹּאמְר֤וּ לָהֶם֙ נִבְנֶ֣ה עִמָּכֶ֔ם כִּ֣י כָכֶ֔ם נִדְר֖וֹשׁ לֵֽאלֹהֵיכֶ֑ם ולא [וְל֣וֹ ׀] אֲנַ֣חְנוּ זֹבְחִ֗ים מִימֵי֙ אֵסַ֤ר חַדֹּן֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ אַשּׁ֔וּר הַמַּעֲלֶ֥ה אֹתָ֖נוּ פֹּֽה׃ (ג) וַיֹּאמֶר֩ לָהֶ֨ם זְרֻבָּבֶ֜ל וְיֵשׁ֗וּעַ וּשְׁאָ֨ר רָאשֵׁ֤י הָֽאָבוֹת֙ לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לֹֽא־לָ֣כֶם וָלָ֔נוּ לִבְנ֥וֹת בַּ֖יִת לֵאלֹהֵ֑ינוּ כִּי֩ אֲנַ֨חְנוּ יַ֜חַד נִבְנֶ֗ה לַֽיהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֔נוּ הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ כּ֥וֹרֶשׁ מֶֽלֶךְ־פָּרָֽס׃ (ד) וַיְהִי֙ עַם־הָאָ֔רֶץ מְרַפִּ֖ים יְדֵ֣י עַם־יְהוּדָ֑ה ומבלהים [וּֽמְבַהֲלִ֥ים] אוֹתָ֖ם לִבְנֽוֹת׃ (ה) וְסֹכְרִ֧ים עֲלֵיהֶ֛ם יוֹעֲצִ֖ים לְהָפֵ֣ר עֲצָתָ֑ם כָּל־יְמֵ֗י כּ֚וֹרֶשׁ מֶ֣לֶךְ פָּרַ֔ס וְעַד־מַלְכ֖וּת דָּרְיָ֥וֶשׁ מֶֽלֶךְ־פָּרָֽס׃
(1) When the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to Adonai God of Israel, (2) they approached Zerubbabel and the chiefs of the clans and said to them, “Let us build with you, since we too worship your God, having offered sacrifices [to Him] since the time of King Esarhaddon of Assyria, who brought us here.” (3) Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the chiefs of the clans of Israel answered them, “It is not for you and us to build a House to our God, but we alone will build it toAdonai, God of Israel, in accord with the charge that the king, King Cyrus of Persia, laid upon us.” (4) Thereupon the people of the land undermined the resolve of the people of Judah, and made them afraid to build. (5) They bribed ministers in order to thwart their plans all the years of King Cyrus of Persia and until the reign of King Darius of Persia.
(ז) וַיַּעֲבִ֨ירוּ ק֜וֹל בִּיהוּדָ֣ה וִירֽוּשָׁלִַ֗ם לְכֹל֙ בְּנֵ֣י הַגּוֹלָ֔ה לְהִקָּבֵ֖ץ יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם׃ (ח) וְכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר לֹֽא־יָב֜וֹא לִשְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת הַיָּמִ֗ים כַּעֲצַ֤ת הַשָּׂרִים֙ וְהַזְּקֵנִ֔ים יָחֳרַ֖ם כָּל־רְכוּשׁ֑וֹ וְה֥וּא יִבָּדֵ֖ל מִקְּהַ֥ל הַגּוֹלָֽה׃ (ס)
(7) Then a proclamation was issued in Judah and Jerusalem that all who had returned from the exile should assemble in Jerusalem, (8) and that anyone who did not come in three days would, by decision of the officers and elders, have his property confiscated and himself excluded from the congregation of the returning exiles.
(א) הָיְתָ֣ה עָלַי֮ יַד־יְהוָה֒ וַיּוֹצִאֵ֤נִי בְר֙וּחַ֙ יְהוָ֔ה וַיְנִיחֵ֖נִי בְּת֣וֹךְ הַבִּקְעָ֑ה וְהִ֖יא מְלֵאָ֥ה עֲצָמֽוֹת׃ (ב) וְהֶעֱבִירַ֥נִי עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם סָבִ֣יב ׀ סָבִ֑יב וְהִנֵּ֨ה רַבּ֤וֹת מְאֹד֙ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י הַבִּקְעָ֔ה וְהִנֵּ֖ה יְבֵשׁ֥וֹת מְאֹֽד׃ (ג) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י בֶּן־אָדָ֕ם הֲתִחְיֶ֖ינָה הָעֲצָמ֣וֹת הָאֵ֑לֶּה וָאֹמַ֕ר אֲדֹנָ֥י יְהוִ֖ה אַתָּ֥ה יָדָֽעְתָּ׃ (ד) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י הִנָּבֵ֖א עַל־הָעֲצָמ֣וֹת הָאֵ֑לֶּה וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵיהֶ֔ם הָעֲצָמוֹת֙ הַיְבֵשׁ֔וֹת שִׁמְע֖וּ דְּבַר־יְהוָֽה׃ (ה) כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֔ה לָעֲצָמ֖וֹת הָאֵ֑לֶּה הִנֵּ֨ה אֲנִ֜י מֵבִ֥יא בָכֶ֛ם ר֖וּחַ וִחְיִיתֶֽם׃ (ו) וְנָתַתִּי֩ עֲלֵיכֶ֨ם גִּדִ֜ים וְֽהַעֲלֵתִ֧י עֲלֵיכֶ֣ם בָּשָׂ֗ר וְקָרַמְתִּ֤י עֲלֵיכֶם֙ ע֔וֹר וְנָתַתִּ֥י בָכֶ֛ם ר֖וּחַ וִחְיִיתֶ֑ם וִידַעְתֶּ֖ם כִּֽי־אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃ (ז) וְנִבֵּ֖אתִי כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר צֻוֵּ֑יתִי וַֽיְהִי־ק֤וֹל כְּהִנָּֽבְאִי֙ וְהִנֵּה־רַ֔עַשׁ וַתִּקְרְב֣וּ עֲצָמ֔וֹת עֶ֖צֶם אֶל־עַצְמֽוֹ׃ (ח) וְרָאִ֜יתִי וְהִנֵּֽה־עֲלֵיהֶ֤ם גִּדִים֙ וּבָשָׂ֣ר עָלָ֔ה וַיִּקְרַ֧ם עֲלֵיהֶ֛ם ע֖וֹר מִלְמָ֑עְלָה וְר֖וּחַ אֵ֥ין בָּהֶֽם׃ (ט) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י הִנָּבֵ֖א אֶל־הָר֑וּחַ הִנָּבֵ֣א בֶן־אָ֠דָם וְאָמַרְתָּ֨ אֶל־הָר֜וּחַ כֹּֽה־אָמַ֣ר ׀ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֗ה מֵאַרְבַּ֤ע רוּחוֹת֙ בֹּ֣אִי הָר֔וּחַ וּפְחִ֛י בַּהֲרוּגִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה וְיִֽחְיֽוּ׃ (י) וְהִנַּבֵּ֖אתִי כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֑נִי וַתָּבוֹא֩ בָהֶ֨ם הָר֜וּחַ וַיִּֽחְי֗וּ וַיַּֽעַמְדוּ֙ עַל־רַגְלֵיהֶ֔ם חַ֖יִל גָּד֥וֹל מְאֹד־מְאֹֽד׃ (ס) (יא) וַיֹּאמֶר֮ אֵלַי֒ בֶּן־אָדָ֕ם הָעֲצָמ֣וֹת הָאֵ֔לֶּה כָּל־בֵּ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל הֵ֑מָּה הִנֵּ֣ה אֹמְרִ֗ים יָבְשׁ֧וּ עַצְמוֹתֵ֛ינוּ וְאָבְדָ֥ה תִקְוָתֵ֖נוּ נִגְזַ֥רְנוּ לָֽנוּ׃ (יב) לָכֵן֩ הִנָּבֵ֨א וְאָמַרְתָּ֜ אֲלֵיהֶ֗ם כֹּֽה־אָמַר֮ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִה֒ הִנֵּה֩ אֲנִ֨י פֹתֵ֜חַ אֶת־קִבְרֽוֹתֵיכֶ֗ם וְהַעֲלֵיתִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֛ם מִקִּבְרוֹתֵיכֶ֖ם עַמִּ֑י וְהֵבֵאתִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם אֶל־אַדְמַ֥ת יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ (ס) (יג) וִֽידַעְתֶּ֖ם כִּֽי־אֲנִ֣י יְהוָ֑ה בְּפִתְחִ֣י אֶת־קִבְרֽוֹתֵיכֶ֗ם וּבְהַעֲלוֹתִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֛ם מִקִּבְרוֹתֵיכֶ֖ם עַמִּֽי׃ (יד) וְנָתַתִּ֨י רוּחִ֤י בָכֶם֙ וִחְיִיתֶ֔ם וְהִנַּחְתִּ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם עַל־אַדְמַתְכֶ֑ם וִידַעְתֶּ֞ם כִּי־אֲנִ֧י יְהוָ֛ה דִּבַּ֥רְתִּי וְעָשִׂ֖יתִי נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה׃ (פ)
(1) The hand of Adonai came upon me. He took me out by the spirit of Adonai and set me down in the valley. It was full of bones. (2) God led me all around them; there were very many of them spread over the valley, and they were very dry. (3) God said to me, “O mortal, can these bones live again?” I replied, “O Adonai GOD, only You know.” (4) And God said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of Adonai! (5) Thus said Adonai GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live again. (6) I will lay sinews upon you, and cover you with flesh, and form skin over you. And I will put breath into you, and you shall live again. And you shall know that I am Adonai!” (7) I prophesied as I had been commanded. And while I was prophesying, suddenly there was a sound of rattling, and the bones came together, bone to matching bone. (8) I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had grown, and skin had formed over them; but there was no breath in them. (9) Then God said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, O mortal! Say to the breath: Thus said the Adonai GOD: Come, O breath, from the four winds, and breathe into these slain, that they may live again.” (10) I prophesied as God commanded me. The breath entered them, and they came to life and stood up on their feet, a vast multitude. (11) And God said to me, “O mortal, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone; we are doomed.’ (12) Prophesy, therefore, and say to them: Thus said Adonai, GOD: I am going to open your graves and lift you out of the graves, O My people, and bring you to the land of Israel. (13) You shall know, O My people, that I am Adonai, when I have opened your graves and lifted you out of your graves. (14) I will put My breath into you and you shall live again, and I will set you upon your own soil. Then you shall know that I Adonai have spoken and have acted”—declares Adonai.
Yonatan Geffen, Israeli Poet and Essayist
“You can’t sit in Manhattan and be a Zionist just because you like oranges, falafel and come here once a year to argue in Jerusalem about ‘Where is Zionism going?’ There is only one answer: Zionism is going on here. Zionism as I see it exists only in its practical form. And as a person who likes shoes isn’t a shoemaker, so a Jew who likes Israel isn’t a Zionist."
"Reflections on IDF service as a college-educated oleh" by Noam Ivri, Jerusalem Post May 31, 2014
DURING MY service, I experienced periods of elation and joy, countered by streaks of disappointment and despair.
In one moment I could feel immense pride in donning the uniform and saluting the flag, while in the being disillusioned with the national anthem, unable to recite the expression of the Jewish yearning for Zion and self-determination.
In these 42 months, I questioned myself as to whether this road was the correct choice, whether the sacrifice was worth it. While it was not combat, my service was nevertheless emotionally and mentally arduous. Yet it entailed never-ending interactions in Hebrew, exposure to Israeli and foreign personalities from all walks of life and multi-tasking with little to no sleep in high-stress situations. Thus, in retrospect, I harbor no regrets: the relatively short-term investment is poised to translate into an undoubtedly longterm gain as a thriving citizen in the Jewish state.
While I ultimately benefited from my service in two of these units, it pains me to have witnessed scores of my fellow olim having quite the reverse experience.
In numerous discussions with olim in these three units over the past 3.5 years, I kept encountering the same narrative: overall disappointment with the IDF, a sense of under-utilization and less-than-receptive treatment at the hands of a chaotic and often aggressive chain of command unsure as to how to put their skills to sound use.
Some soldiers had lost their initial passion to serve and were seeking to shorten their tour of duty, demoralized by a sense that their sacrifice was wasted; others were already planning to return to their countries of birth, disenchanted by their experience in uniform and no longer believing in the promise of the Israeli idea itself.
The lowest common denominator I found in these intellectual and committed soldiers was the language barrier: many positions demanded reading and writing proficiency in Hebrew. The general feeling was that the olim themselves were being blamed for not knowing Hebrew at a satisfactory level prior to enlisting and thus constituting a burden on their workplaces. Conversely, the potential asset of their vast array of knowledge and burning drive to contribute was generally perceived to have been neglected.