December 25, 2004
The 16th of Tevet
A Few Thoughts
The Right to Feel
I was about to start this with “Many years ago…” then suddenly I realized that the word “many” is terribly subjective. My concept of “Many years ago…” is less than that of my parents, and my own children’s is certainly less than my own. I have no problem respecting it.
Food that is indelibly salty to me is absolutely tasty and delicious to others. Music that gets on my nerves is fantastically popular with other people. That doesn’t make any of us wrong.
So why are the feelings of the holocaust survivors living in Gush Katif less valued, legitimate, kosher, than those who run Yad Veshem? The survivors in Gush Katif are feeling a terrible deja vous, like they’re back in the time of the Nazis being herded out of their homes into danger, and possible murder. While the Yad Veshem crowd is still insisting that millions “perished;” the “m” word not escaping their lips.
No one forced anyone to wear an “orange star,” and it really bothers me that the campaign was derailed. Obviously it hit a nerve, and that means that their message was getting across. It’s a shame that the Gush Katif residents stopped the campaign, because I would have fought for them. Their pain and memories are no less haunting and legitimate than those of the “survivor celebrities.”
More and more people are trying to figure out how the Prime Minister, a former general, known for his patriotism and courage, is sitting idly by while civilians in cities and communities are being bombed daily. I don’t have anything nice to say.
Thank G-d there is a G-d. There is no other explanation for the miracles that happen daily and nightly in Gush Katif, Sderot and surrounding areas. For years we’ve marveled at the miracles of the Gulf War. Statistically it’s impossible for there to have been so few casualties. That’s how we know it’s G-d. G-d goes against nature.
And is that why Arik Sharon is getting more and more stubborn and hard-hearted about the good patriotic citizens in Gush Katif? Is it the same hand of G-d that hardened Pharaoh’s heart, hardening Sharon’s? Sharon and his advisors think that a few more bombs, and the good Jews will run gratefully into the “camps” he’s setting up for them.
Sharon won’t get his wish. We are stronger. We may not have jails and tanks and physical weapons, but we are a “stiff-necked people.”
A revolution is being planned in Israel’s education. It sounds like a nightmare. Ten’s of thousands of teachers are to be fired, and class-size is to be reduced. Now, you don’t have to be a CPA’s daughter like I am to see problems with the numbers.
The Dovrat Commission thinks that if they offer the teachers a little more money, the teachers, the better ones of course, will stay in school double the hours, five days a week. They think that parents will pay extra money for extracurricular activities for their kids on Fridays. Only the largest schools will be financially stable. Religious schools will be required to drastically reduce the hours for Jewish studies or they’ll lose government support.
I really don’t like writing all this depressing stuff. And I didn’t even mention the soldier thrown out of an officers’ course, because he said that he could never pull a Jew out of his home. The army told him that such opinions disqualify him from being an officer. Strange that when left-wing air force pilots signed a letter that they wouldn’t drop bomb on civilians sheltering terrorists, that was considered ok. His father, an immigrant from the former USSR, was sure that he had left such a totalitarian society.
Basically all these stories are the same. We’re going through a very difficult time, fighting a war on many fronts. And the biggest and most dangerous is the one for our hearts and minds. They’re trying to destroy us, to weaken us, but they won’t succeed.
Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuto Li’olam Va’ed
Ve’ahavta et Adoshem Elokecha,
“Listen, People of Israel
Blessed be His Name, whose glorious Kingdom is forever and ever
And you must love the Lord your G-d with all your soul and with all your might…”
Batya Medad, Shiloh
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