Was it a sense of history?
Something ancient in the air, smacking of appreciation, of work making freedom,
of immigrant sons and daughters, the practical lives, jokes, tears, struggle,
and naches. In this new land, one day a schlub, the next, ein Held.
Round about the eighth inning, we were led to believe
that somewhere in this dry hot summer,
as we starved, away from our promised land,
a crazy old man with some wacky ideas might lead us back to milk and honey.
Addendum: h/t WholeCamels:
But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said unto Judah:
'What? shall we be able, being a small company, to fight against so
great and strong a multitude? ...' And Judah said: 'It is an easy
thing for many to be shut up in the hands of a few, and there is no
difference in the sight of Heaven to save by many or by few; for
victory in battle standeth not in the multitude of an host, but
strength is from Heaven. They come unto us in fullness of insolence
and lawlessness, to destroy us and our wives and our children, for to
spoil us; but we fight for our lives and our laws. And He Himself will
discomfort them before our face; but as for you, be yet not afraid of
them." (The First Book of Maccabees)