3 He said to me, “O mortal, can these bones live again?” I replied, “O Hashem, only You know.”
va-YO-mer ay-LAI ben a-DAM ha-tikh-YE-nah ha-a-tza-MOT ha-AY-leh va-o-MAR a-do-NAI e-lo-HEEM a-TAH ya-DA-ta
ג וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם הֲתִחְיֶינָה הָעֲצָמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וָאֹמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אַתָּה יָדָעְתָּ׃
37:3 ‘O mortal, can these bones live again?’
This chapter contains Yechezkel’s well-known vision of the valley in which dry bones come to life. There could be no greater metaphor for the restoration of the Jewish people to their land. Yisrael and Yehuda have been destroyed, the people scattered to the four corners of the earth. Just as no one could imagine that dead bones could live again, the exiles cannot imagine that they will survive as a nation, let alone ever return to their homeland. Yet, when God asks Yechezkel “can these bones live?” he doesn’t express doubt or hopelessness. He answers that anything can happen if it is God’s will. And so the dry bones arise from the dead. In a similarly miraculous fashion, in the years immediately following the Holocaust, the People of Israel cameback to life in the Land of Israel. In fact, these verses are read on Israeli radio every year on Holocaust Remembrance Day.