Saturday, October 15, 2005
#147 Now for the Third Time
October 15, 2005
The 12th of Tishrei
Now for the Third Time
In just over a week, on Sunday, October 23, during Chol Hamoed Succot, G-d willing I’ll be attending the third annual “Od Avihu Chai” Memorial March from Shiloh to Jerusalem. Unlike the very first year, less than three weeks after my neighbor, Avihu Keinan, was killed in a badly planned army action, we won’t be marching the entire route by foot. Last year, due to army pressure, we were bussed part of the way, and even though it was disappointing, I must admit that it still was a glorious experience.
Two years ago Moshe, Avihu’s father, led us to Jerusalem and not even the army could stop our advance. We ended our march outside the President’s Residence, and a succah was quickly constructed. It was during the Succot holiday and Moshe spent his days in that succah meeting with people. Some were famous politicians, and some were other bereaved parents and some were just ordinary Israelis and tourists. He explained to all who came how the army followed a false, a perverted morality that valued the enemy over the lives of our soldiers, our sons, brothers, cousins, fathers and friends.
Since then Moshe has continued his mission to try to bring some sanity to the Israeli psyche. He has become a symbol of a father who fights for the lives of Israeli soldiers, even after his son is dead.
Last year we marched to the “Kotel,” the “Western Wall,” in the Old City of Jerusalem. We entered via Sha’ar Shechem, the Damascus Gate. At the gate we stopped marching and danced and sang, waving Israeli and Shiloh flags, while the Arabs and security forces watched in disbelief. Such a display of Jewish pride has been, unfortunately, rare in recent years. Then we continued singing all the way through the Arab market to the Kotel.
This year the plan is to begin from the exit of Shiloh and walk first to our cemetery, to Avihu’s grave. We will end the march at Har Hazaytim, the Mount of Olives Cemetery, where most of the disinterred from Gush Katif are now buried.
Since we failed in canceling Disengagement, now, we too are in danger of losing our homes. This is one of the points that wasn’t stressed enough during our protests. I tried to tell people that it wasn’t just a matter of a few thousand good Jews in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron, it was a, G-d forbid, dangerous precedent for all Jewish communities in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. If we don’t have the right to live in Sanur or Elei Sinai, then we don’t have the right to live in Rishon Letzion and Tel Aviv.
Even before the innocent Jews were thrown out of their homes and the bodies dug out of their graves, the government was already leaking their plans to destroy more communities, like ours in Shiloh, G-d forbid. You just have to look at the route of the so-called security fence strangling Jewish towns and cutting off tens of thousands of loyal patriotic Israelis, deserting us to the dubious “protection” of terrorists. Caroline Glick in The Jerusalem Post explains how the fence endangers Jews and protects Arabs, hauntingly like Moshe Keinan describes our mistaken and dangerous military strategy.
The mutilated country within those “borders” will be impossible to defend. Just because we lost the battle for Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, we must not give up. We lost that battle, but the war isn’t over yet.
The first Jew buried in modern Shiloh was Rachella Druk, HaYa”D, who was murdered in a terror attack almost fourteen years ago. Today there are a few dozen bodies in the Shiloh Cemetery. At least one was reburied after being disinterred from his Soviet grave, and others only came to Shiloh after their deaths, and that includes my husband’s parents. Others buried in our cemetery were residents of Shiloh who died from various “natural causes.” And unfortunately, Rachella was joined by a number of others, all young, who were also murdered by Arab terrorists. None of them lived long enough to marry and have children of their own. They are all “resting” together in what, G-d willing, will be their “final resting place.”
We can no longer take anything for granted, and we must be strong, like Avihu was strong. “Od Avihu Chai,” is what the march is called not to commemorate his physical strength, which was legendary, but to remember his strong charismatic morale. His soldiers tell of how he successfully motivated them to attempt the most difficult and dangerous tasks. That strength still lives.
Join us in our march to preserve the State of Israel.
For more information call 02-940-1111. I will also post the scheduled time we should be arriving in Jerusalem for those who want to join us there. Check my blogs for that information.
Shavua Tov and Chag Sameach,
Batya Medad, Shiloh
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