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Monday, April 14, 2008

Mothers, Grandmothers and Children

Here it is, just a few days before Pesach, and the younger generation is doing its best to liberate our Holy Land. There are groups of Jewish youth marching in the Shomron and Gush Etzion. What's amazing, but shouldn't be surprising considering the history of the modern settlement movement, is that their leaders are all women, mothers and a grandmother. The leaders are Nadia Matar, Datya Yitzhaki and Daniella Weiss.

Don't forget that Jewish women and children lived alone, under the leadership of Miriam Levinger, in Hebron until the government finally allowed family reunification.

Don't forget that the entire settlement enterprise would have collapsed if the women, the mothers, hadn't been willing to live with their children under difficult conditions, minimal water, electricity, lack of transportation.

Don't forget that there was no telephone service. Long before cell phones and the internet existed.

The early days in the yishuvim were a pioneering effort which should be better documented and written up as books, movies and songs.

Yes, even songs. I remember the song my daughter's class sang at the end of the school year, a hysterically funny one about their "tromasbest," the company name for the "caravan," which was their classroom.

During my years as a gym teacher, I had to be not only very creative, but of strong faith in G-d. There was no gymnasium or large public indoor space. If it rained, there was no place to teach, since those "caravans" had floors so weak, they felt like they were sinking if we all stood up at once. G-d was merciful and believed in physical activity, so the rain always began the last few minutes of the last lesson of the day.

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