Tuesday, October 19, 2004

It's Not a Matter of Money!

Musings #78
October 18, 2004
The 3rd of Cheshvan

It’s Not a Matter of Money

The latest headlines say that Arik Sharon will offer more money to the victims of his transfer program, and that the “lucky” recipients won’t even be taxed on their “windfall.” He expects them to be overjoyed.

Sharon totally miss-reads the situation and the minds and hearts of the Jews in YESHA. But even more revealing, is what he shows of his true self. There’s a principle in psychology, projection, that a person demonstrates his true self, his inner self, in what he imagines in others. It is clear that Sharon believes that everyone has a price, like the story of the man who offers the woman a million dollars to sleep with him, and after she agrees, changes the price to a few cents. She, insulted, asks why he thinks her a whore, and he replies that she already established that. Now they’re just haggling over the price.

Obviously Sharon has his price, and he was well paid. He thinks everyone is like him, so he’s haggling. But we the Jews of YESHA aren’t whores. It’s not about money. Neither a nicer house, larger more fertile piece of land, nor a generous deposit in the bank can bribe the good Jews in Gush Katif to leave their homes and destroy their communities and educational institutions. We’re in our Homeland, and that’s where we want to stay. No amount of money can substitute for it.

There is no substitute for Eretz Yisrael and no justification for shrinking the tiny borders of the State of Israel. We didn’t accept Uganda nor Birobijan, and we left Great Neck and Golders Green. We respect and value Israelis’ rights to live in Tel Aviv and Kiryat Tivon. There must be Jews in all of Eretz Yisrael.

This “disengagement” business makes no sense. Not from a security, tactical, diplomatic, psychological, historical—you name the adjective—it’s totally illogical. And “insulting” is the nicest word I can think of. It insults the integrity of every Jew.

People keep asking me whom we’re supposed to follow, which politician should we listen to. These are tough questions in very difficult times. I’m just a “bubby” who teaches English. There are more questions than answers.

This week I started learning Kohelet in a Shiloh women’s study group taught by Rabbi Nissan Ben Avraham. We learned that in “Masechet Shabbat” Shlomo HaMelech is considered a symbol of “irrelevent,” “too smart for your own good” questions. Basically they mock him, though, it was King Solomon who was privileged to build the Beit HaMikdash, the Holy Temple.

Kohelet, like Shlomo HaMelech who wrote it is very controversial. It’s very honest; he admits his doubts and faults. He was a man of many, maybe too many, talents and intelligences and doubts and contradictions. He did everything but fight in a war. That was his father’s specialty. King David fought hard to prepare a peaceful world for his son, but it didn’t give Shlomo personal peace.

King Solomon spent his entire life searching, experimenting. In the end he came to the conclusion that it was all “hevel,” nothing, air. It was like the air that could fill a balloon; none of the material riches were worth anything.

Ariel Sharon hasn’t learned this. His haggling over the price is “hevel.” The Jewish residents of Gush Katif, of YESHA, understand what Shlomo HaMelech writes of in Kohelet. Ain chadash mitachat lashemesh. There’s nothing new under the sun. It’s all “hevel,” norishkeit, vanities, air.

There is no material price, no payment that can compensate for what we won’t give away. Let’s just go on with our real life and continue settling Our Land.

Batya Medad, Shiloh

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