Despair is not a
word in the Jewish vocabulary.
two recent stories about Gush Katif and the Gaza
disengagement brought me close to tears of despair.
What's even more frustrating than the facts themselves
is the deafening sound of silence that these two
situations brought about.
an article by Hillel Fendel, titled, "Gush Katif Prayer
Books Found Strewn About," holy prayer books and Sifrei
Torah were removed from destroyed Gush Katif synagogues
and there was no uproar. The sacred items were left
desecrated and unwanted for three years and we didn't
hear a sound. The books were thrown into crates and
ignored and it didn't even make the news - not the
destruction of the buildings themselves nor the neglect
of the holy books.
past year Gush Katif residents requested countless times
that the Sela Disengagement Administration and
representatives of the Department of Religious Affairs
allow them to get to the storehouses and they were
denied. It turned out that the problem was that Sela
hadn't paid the owners of the storehouses and so the
owners wouldn't let anyone in.
arrived, we were horrified to see the Desecration of G-d's
Name that was there," said Aviel Tucker of the former
town of Netzer Hazani. "Sacred books were strewn about
on the floor and in undignified piles, with bird
droppings all over them. It was tremendously sad for us
to see pieces of our beautiful synagogue - parts of the
Holy Ark, benches, and memorial plaques - strewn about
with abandon or worse."
that we were sharing the same fate," Aviel said. "Not
only have we, the residents, been humiliated and
expelled in disgrace, but also the sacred books and G-d's
tells me that if it was Mosques that were destroyed and
Korans that were desecrated, the media would be hovering
over this story like a mother bird over her young. An
immediate outcry from many different circles would have
called attention to the dire situation and money would
have been raised to get the storehouses open to save the
holy books from desecration.
just a short while ago I was interviewed on Arutz Sheva,
Israel's national radio about the dangers of
missionaries and cults to the spiritual welfare of Jews
in Israel and around the world.
that brought the interview was an uproar in Israel over
'religious' books that were desecrated. When
missionaries in Israel gave out unasked for, unwanted
new testaments as part of their mission to proselytize
Jews and lure them away from their religion, inhabitants
of an Israeli town took the books and burned them. The
Israeli police took it upon themselves to look into the
incident and to consider pressing charges against the
Jews who tried to protect their brethren from those who
dirty Israel's streets with their missionary filth
trying to 'save' Jewish souls. They were looking into
prison time for those who destroyed 'holy books'
belonging to missionaries. Yet Jewish books can be
neglected and no one says a word?
standard of care and concern for the religious objects
of other nationalities and other religions while
neglecting those of the Jewish faith bothers me.
The icing on
the cake of this disengagement fiasco is an article from
Ynet News stating that Hamas no longer has to smuggle
weapons into the Gaza, because weapon smuggling into
Gaza is a professional, state-run business, sponsored by
Iran. Tehran sees Hamas as a long-term investment - much
since the Gaza pullout in 2005, more than 120 tons of
explosives have made their way into the Gaza Strip. This
is an astronomical quantity for a military organization
which has only a few thousand people who can operate
abandoned the Gaza Strip did they dream they would be
setting the stage for a massive military terror base
right in their back yard?
And where is
the public outcry over the build up of weapons that are
used daily on the hapless Israeli residents?
is around the corner. It's a time that we cry over the
destruction that was wrought to our nation, a time that
we say 'Al Eilah Ani Vochiyah' - 'For these I cry.'
destruction of Gush Katif and the degradation its
residents is one more thing for us to cry about; as much
as it hurts, we cannot despair. For despair is not a