All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Thursday, 11 August 2005

My Crying, Broken Heart

Satellite Photo of Gaza (2005)

The ancient Rabbis say that the Second Temple was destroyed because of sinat chinam, (i.e.)baseless hatred between one Jew and another. In other words, the Jews hated each another so much so, that they literally ripped apart the most treasured possession they had, which was the Temple. G-d therefore sent the Romans to finish off the job for them.

This Tisha B'av, my heart cries for yet another reason. I constantly read the reports coming from Israel regarding the ongoing conflict that is developing between the Settlers and the Israeli Army over the imminent disengagement from Gaza - how Jews are once again quarreling - and I can feel my heart and soul being pulverised from within.

Is Gaza worth the earthquake that is taking place in Israel right now? No no no! It's certainly not. The sad truth is that all parties involved have been wronged for one reason or another:

The Settlers, in my opinion, are justified in feeling betrayed by successive Governments who enthusiastically encouraged them to go to the Strip in the first place. Now, they are being wrenched from their homes and livelihoods, uncertain of what lies ahead. Naturally, they are angry and disappointed (and I'm not just talking about the idealists) although I don't in any way condone the acts of violence being carried out to further their cause.

The 18 year old soldiers are being pulled from all sides. How can they be expected to do their jobs with some of their Rabbis - who should be letting the politicians and the Army get on with it - mixing in and complicating things by scandalously telling the soldiers who are their students, to disobey orders? (I really hope that these Rabbis are kicked in jail for treason). Additionally, the poor kids - and they are kids - face the extremely unpleasant task of evicting women and children from their homes. Would YOU want that job?

Sharon is taking a huge risk by pushing for this leap into the unknown and has had to deal with the disgusting behaviour of Bibi Netanyahu (ex Finance Minister) who quit his job on the eve of the disengagement, due to "ideological differences". If he felt so strongly about the policy, why didn't he leave three or six months ago? The man doesn't deserve to hold office.

The rest of us look on in horror at the unfolding drama and wonder where all this will lead, especially when the Palestinians don't seem to doing a single thing to rein in the terrorists.

So, after all this, do I think the disengagement is the right thing to do? Yes I do. As heartbreaking as I feel it to be, staying in that G-dforsaken piece of land will do nothing to ensure our security or bring about peace. The terrorists have been firing mortars, making bombs and sending out suicide bombers whilst the settlers have been in situ - and their being there has not stopped the attacks. Additionally, numerous settlers (including mothers and children) have been killed by terrorist attacks inside Gaza. They are literally "sitting ducks".

Gaza is a case of 'damned if you stay or damned if you go'. There is no right answer. However, if by leaving, the Settlers can save one more Jewish soul, then I'm all for it - and that's why I back the disengagement.

I feel differently about Judea and Samaria because there is a continuous thread of Jewish settlement that goes back to Biblical Times and I believe that Jews should be living in these areas, if they want to. Gaza was a trouble spot for Samson and it is the same for his descendants. We are leaving a cursed area and that's the way I look at it.

I just wish the others, who are fighting to stay there now, felt the same way.


As always... Rachael said...

I'm not jewish, yuo know that... and I'm don't know the definition of all the terminology you used in this post... but there's is one thing I do know...

Tearing down your fellow man is wrong... always. When that person is a member of your (jewish) family... it's extra wrong.

Personally, I was created with some missing parts. I simply DO NOT have the capacity to turn my back of people, people of any kind.

But God made up for that deficiency by giving me an extra helping of understanding... the ability to listen and empathethize... even with people I cannot possibly understand because they are just too different.

I'm almost finished reading the book you recommneded. I haven;t bothered you with questions because as I read, questions I thought I had become anwerable in my heart. The terms still are confusing... but I made myslef a little dictionary (which I feel like submitting to the author because a glossry of terms would be very helpful to non-jewish readers).

You enrich my life and I'm happy to know you... even if only in blogger-land. Youve helped de-shroud mysteries I simply was ignorant of 4 months ago.

I cannot thank you enough. So I will just say "thank you," and hope that you realize how deeply I mean it.

The Teacher said...


Thank you for your comments which really touched me. If my writing this blog has helped to de-legitimise as it were, some long-held inaccurate perceptions about Jews and Israel, then I'm doing my job ok.

Please know that I am always happy to answer any questions that you have about our religion - even if you think they may be insignificant.

In response to your last comment, it is an absolute pleasure to "meet" you and find out about your truly remarkable life. I think we have all created an incredible community of special people who show they care about others. This is demonstrated both through posts and often heartfelt comments.

Rachael, thank YOU for letting us all into your personal life.

Who would have thought that it would be so liberating to share our intimate secrets with perfect strangers?!

Sometimes bravery needn't just be about saving other people's lives.