Friday, August 11, 2006
My Speech, Given at the AFSI--Year After Disengagement Event
One Year After Disengagement
by Batya Medad
Greetings from Shiloh, the first national capital of the people of Israel!!!
It's wonderful seeing so many of you here, friends, family and all those who love and care for Eretz Yisrael!!
I've learned a lot from my recent crocheting hobby. I've learned how to look at an "almost finished hat," admit that it won't fit properly, rip it out and start again. There are hats I've crocheted a few times, until they're more than just “wearable.”
Last year, immediately after Helen Freedman asked me to speak at the anti-Disengagement Rally in Times Square, I wrote a speech, which only needed a couple of minor adjustments, and it was just right.
This year, again, immediately after Helen requested I speak here tonight, I wrote a speech, fine-tuned it, and it is a good one.
The only problem is, that "on the way to the forum" the Arabs began bombing, more accurately, blitzing Israel on two fronts. I tried playing with my speech, adding some lines, here and there, about the war, but honestly, even though it's a good speech, even a great speech, it's the wrong one for tonight. The present war made it passé` even before anyone ever heard it.
So I ripped it out and started again.
That's what the Israeli Government, the army and rabbis should have done, once they saw that the results of Disengagement were dangerous to the existence of the State of Israel.
That's what the human rights activists in Israel and all over the world should have done when seeing the horrible way the exiled, the transferred Jews were being treated by the Israeli government.
That's what the entire country should have done once the Arabs began bombing Sderot, Ashkelon, Kiryat Shmoneh, Nazareth and Haifa and more precious Jewish cities.
Every one of them should have woken up to the fact that they had made mistakes. Wasn’t the writing clearly written on the wall? They should have ripped out their old attitudes and built new ones.
We're in the Jewish month of Av, the month of tragedies, destruction. It's no surprise that Disengagement, the destruction of Jewish Life in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron took place in Av. Jewish History is filled with such coincidences.
And that adds to the significance of the next month on the Jewish calendar. And what is it? _______ Yes, Ellul, and what do we do in Ellul? ______ Yes, "tshuva," we repent.
We all must repent, because we failed. We failed to protect Eretz Yisrael. As hard as we tried, obviously, "uvdah sheh--," "facts speak" as we say in Hebrew, we didn't do enough. Or we didn't do the right things. But we can't give up, and we don't have to wait until Ellul.
Do you know which Jewish Holiday is in the month of Av? ________ Does anybody know? A week after the 9th of Av is TU B'Av, the Shiloh Holiday. Yes, davka, Shiloh! It's The Holiday of the Unity of the Jewish People. In the same month, when we fast and mourn for the destruction of our Holy Temples, due to "sinat chinam," baseless hatred, hatred for no reason, for which we as a nation were punished, barely a week later there is TU B'Av.
It commemorates the unification of the Jewish nation, when after very difficult times, the tribes began to intermarry.
It is described in the book of Judges (21:19):
"They said, Behold, there is a yearly holiday unto HaShem at Shiloh, which is north of Beit-El to Shechem, and south of Lebonah. So they directed the sons of Benjamin, saying: Go and lie in wait in the vineyards. And see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh go out to perform the dances, you shall emerge from the vineyards, and each of you grab his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin."
Yes, Shiloh, my hometown. Shiloh, one of the Jewish communities Olmert and gang still want to destroy.
All of these government plans: Disengagement, Consolidation, Resettlement, Camp David, the Road Map, Oslo, Transfer or whatever euphemism is used, it's all based on the same thing: sinat chinam!
How else can the same People who are always the first to rush out and aid goyim in distress, whether blacks in the US south, or Biafora or Darfur or those in difficulty or danger from natural disasters?
How can the same Jews, vote for, support or "stay neutral" when innocent Jews are being exiled from their homes? How else can the same People, our Jewish
Brethren, vote for, support or "stay neutral" when our precious gift, Eretz Yisrael is being made juden rein by the Israeli Government? Why do we Jews feel the pain of others, but not that of our brothers?
Our country is being attacked, and most Israelis and most Jews don't see the connection between Disengagement and the present Arab aggression. How can they be so blind? How can they be so unfeeling?
I know that you, who are here with me, are not like the majority. You are the vanguard! You are the true Jewish patriots! You are the ones who will turn the tide, change public opinion. You will be credited with activating the "tipping point!"
In the future, when the history of this time is written, you will be considered like the Macabees!
Don't forget! "… it ain't over till it's over." As Casey Stengel said.
Repeat after me: it ain't over till it's over! Again! Louder!
It ain't over till it's over!
That's right. It's up to us, and we have to believe that we can do it. We will win, but we're going to have to work hard.
There's an old story about Napoleon visiting a synagogue and asking why the Jews were wailing and mourning. He was told that it was the 9th of Av, the day Jews mourn their Holy Temple. He asked when it was destroyed and told "1800 years before." Napoleon's response was:
"I vow that this People is destined for a future in their own homeland. For is there any other people who have kept alive similar mourning and hope for so many years?"
Be strong, brave and don’t fear!
Kaveh el Hashem
Chazak, v’yaametz libecha,
V’ Kaveh el Hashem
Put your Hope in G-d
Strengthen yourself, and He will give you Courage
And Put your Hope in G-d