Friday, April 14, 2006

Letter to the UOJCA

*with additions at the end*

April 14, 2006
Letter to
the Jewish Action Magazine of the UOJCA:

I see that you have quite a number of articles about Disengagement, which you spell with a small "d," in your Spring, 2006 edition. As a writer and English Teacher I spell the "plan" with a capital "D." It's the name of something very specific, not a general concept.

Actually, it succeeded in both ways. Not only have thousands of good Jews, law-abiding Israelis been banished from their homes and exiled, but world Jewry, including you, the "OU," is disengaged from the true danger.

Even after publishing all of those moving articles, you just don't get it. You could have had been writing about something that happened thousands of years ago. There's a detached, disengaged coldness about it all. There's no historical perspective. And there's no recognition that Olmert, the Israeli left, media, and all of the world's diplomats are salivating over more ethnic cleansing, more destruction.

Where are your anger, your outrage and your call to action? Do you really think that it is sufficient to include a few articles in your magazine? Dayeinu?

This past year I've visited New York three times. The first visit was just a couple of weeks before Disengagement, before our Jewish brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, great-grandparents, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were forcefully exiled from their beloved homes in Eretz Yisrael. I was told that there would be "Orange Shabbat" in the synagogues and offered to speak wherever needed. In the end I just spent a quiet Shabbat with family, since your OU rabbis had been told to "stay neutral." Nobody wanted a message from Eretz Yisrael.

How can one "stay neutral," live at peace with himself when Jewish survival in our Holy Land is a risk? During my recent visits to the states, I've heard the rabbis mourn American soldiers killed in Iraq, listing their names from the pulpit. I keep reading about the aid given to those made homeless due to Katrina. And of course there are always other "trendy" issues American Jews are always at the forefront to help.

But I heard absolutely nothing about the victims of Disengagement. Their situation is much, much, much worse than that of the Jewish community of New Orleans. That was no "natural disaster." Their homes, land, schools and synagogues weren't flooded. They were given to Arabs, Arab terrorists. Because they are Jews, they are being forbidden to return, forbidden to live there or visit. After bravely and stoically suffering daily and nightly rocket attacks, they were sent into exile. The rocket attacks didn't stop; the targets just moved to the "other side of the green line." Now Ashkelon and the Negev are being bombed. And what's your reaction?

In addition, I heard nothing about stopping further and more massive Ethnic Cleaning in Eretz Yisrael. Olmert hasn't been shy, and why should he be, about his plans of further and more massive exile, evacuation, disengagement of Jews.

The latest, but not the last, is to forcefully evacuate most of our Biblical Homeland, including my community of Shiloh. It has been spelled out in all of the papers. It's no secret. And you're still silent. What articles will you write afterwards, if it G-d forbid really happens? Will you devote an entire issue on the subject? Should I send you my "before" pictures already?

We can stop it, and we must stop it, but it will take the unified efforts of the entire Jewish People. Are you willing?

Batya Medad
Shiloh, Holy Land

*There is no time to waste. Olmert is planning on utilizing the traditional "honeymoon" of popularity of new administrations to exile us as quickly as possibe, within only 18 months. Israel won't be defensible with those borders, even worse considering the Arabs' present capabilities, than it was pre-1967 Six Days War. Remember that "unilateral" means one-sided, for nothing--no agreement. It's like cutting off your feet, because you don't like shoes. How are you going to walk? And that's the situation we're in. An influential segment of the population just hates us, and they love the praise of others when they damage and endanger us. They think that they will be wheeled around and catererd to once their feet are amputated. But they are wrong. The world will just leave them to die or be killed.

My generation always asked how the world was silent, how American Jews could let the Nazis murder the Six Million. Unfortunately, I see how it happened. It's so easy for everyone to just pretend and ignore, even today when there is such "instant" international communication. People haven't changed at all.


Robin Ticker said...


Us women must band together. On May 10th there is the yearly Rebbetzins Conference focusing on Teens at Risk. The chairwomen is Rebbetzin Reisman and the main spokesperson is Rebbetzin Jungreiss. Women must unite and attend or demonstrate at this Conferece raising awareness that the Rabbanim have remained silent about Eretz Yisroel (this post is pretty powerful and is relevant not only to OU but to Agudath Yisroel and Sephardi Rabbanim who are leading hundreds of thousands of Jews to inaction or worse)

Over Pesach a Chasidic Rav in my neighborhoods baby had an emergency. Apparently 1 week ago a cabinet fell on her finger. A Plastic surgeon fixed it and instructed the mother not to change the bandage or look at it for 6 days. Yesterday the baby wimpering in pain was rushed to a neighbor who is a PA specializing in emergency medicine. This PA was appalled at the condition of the finger which he said was terribly infected had cellulitis and the baby needed to go to the emergency room fast. The mother said she asked the doctor should I have someone else check the finger or change the dressing etc. The doctor got angry at her questions. Now the Rav himself was crying. I don't know if the baby's finger is ok and I hope it is since they had to go to the hospital on Yom Tov, but I can't help but making the comparison about putting ones faith in ones doctor and putting ones faith in one's Rav. If G-d forbid the Doctor was negligent or over confident, this child might be at risk of losing her finger G-d forbid. Putting our trust in Rabbanim that are negligent and not our trust in Hashem and His Torah that is entrusted to each and every one of us at Har Sinai can also have the terrible outcome of bitter tears, how were we so stupid to follow them blindly.

Robin Ticker said...

The baby's name is Rivka Rochel bas Miriam. They had to take the top of the finger. Beezrat Hashem she should have a REfuah Shelaima!

Esser Agaroth said...


Batya, I'm glad you wrote this. Some times I feel like I'm talking to a wall with my fellow Jews outside of Israel. It can get very frustrating. (sigh) I suppose we're not supposed to give up on them. As you know, one of RaSh"I's suggested interpretations of the word hamushim in Parshath Beshalah in describing our coming out of Egypt, is that only "one-fifth" of us made it. Without getting into the parallels between that ge'ulah and the final one, I believe it is our job to improve on that "one-fifth" figure this time around.

So, if you got through to one Jew, it what worth it. You may also have inspired others to continue the campaign as well.

Batya said...

It seems to have gotten lost among the matzah crumbs, so if you feel that it's an important letter, please send it around and link it on your site.

Scottage said...

This is an excellent post. I admit I have normally been on the other side of disengagement, but this post certainly provides a good deal of food for thought. Perhaps if there was a concerted effort to report this side of the anti-disengagement movement, there would be more sympathy for it. I was impressed, adn will continue thinking about the subject.

Batya said...

I'm glad I made you look at the issue differently.