"From Moshe till Moshe, there arose none like Moshe." (famous Jewish folk saying)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Power of Prayer, reconciliation and dignity

I had a very heavy heart today. Jewish law forbids outward displays of mourning on Shabbat but I felt the impending gloom and doom of Tisha B’Av a little bit to soon. Tisha B’Av is the one-day on the Jewish calendar when we commemorate all Jewish tragedy. Many of us have never lived through a national Jewish tragedy. We have experienced tragic events, death, etc. But for us national tragedy is only a history, depicted in books, movies and stories from our grandparents. A real Jewish tragedy is something many of our generation have been spared from experiencing, until now.

Anyone who has read any of my previous post, and on whose blogs I have commented, know that I am against the disengagement. I believe firmly that leaving Gaza will not accomplish anything. Except for maybe freeing up our brave soldiers from protecting the Jewish residents of Gaza, I have not been convinced of any other legitimate claim. As we have heard, Hamas and the PA are already singing the predictable songs of, we want the entire west bank, we want the right of return and ultimately, we want Jerusalem. Anything less, there will be no peace; the violence will begin again, although we all know that it has really never stopped.

I am not giving up. I don’t want to give up, but I am starting to feel in my heart, that HaShem just may have other plans. Throughout history, Jews have experienced times of darkness. There have been times, recently and in the past where tragedies have happened to friends, our family and in the world that we just could not understand. After all, we’re human and things happen that are beyond our comprehension.

When someone is G-d forbid, diagnosed with a terminal illness, his or her initial approach is to fight. They take a stand. I will beat this cancer! They seek out the greatest specialists; they experiment with aggressive treatments, and sometimes they pray. The determination and will to live is crucial to survival. But unfortunately, sometimes even with all of the fighting, and all the praying, the disease is stronger and overtakes even the greatest and strongest of wills. Sometimes, HaShem hears our prayers and gives us a different answer than we want. And what do we do when this reality sets upon us? We accept what HaShem has decreed and we endeavor to leave this world and go out with dignity.

I am not sure, but this moment of transition may be upon us. We have fought hard. We have protested and we have prayed. But it seems that the time has come to accept that HaShem may have other plans for us, the people of Gaza and Israel. So now what are we to do? My hope is that my bothers and my sisters whose pain I share and identify with can accept that it is time to take control in a different way.

I do not want our beautiful children to see their sisters and mothers, who are modest in every way, handled by men, knocking off their head covering and dragged away. I don’t want children who honor, admire and revere the gevurah/strength of their heroic fathers to witness them being overpowered by a group of officers who are not following their hearts, but only following orders.

My fear is that even if there is resistance, in the end, it seems the result will be the same. For what ever the reasons, that we cannot understand, it seems that this is the way it will be. Yes, it is not me and it’s (sort of) not my family, and I am not living in their shoes but if it were me, I would rather go with my dignity. I realize people do not like holocaust analogies, but in Fiddler on the Roof, when they were told to leave Anatefka, they put on their hats and jackets, swept the floor and walked out with their heads held high. Our people are honorable and dignified. We should never allow ourselves to have these values compromised.

I looked ahead today, to next weeks Torah portion. I wanted to see if there was a message to be gleaned in the week that the disengagement would officially be executed. Once again I was awed by timelessness of Torah is and its eternal message.

We find Moses our teacher, pleading with G-d, to be allowed to enter into the land of Israel. We have learned earlier that it had been decreed that Moses would not enter the land. But Moses did not take this sitting down. He used every opportunity to try and annul this judgment. Moses prayed so many times and with such intensity that G-d himself had to tell Moses that he must stop his prayer and accept the judgment that was upon him. G-d told Moses that something else is was in store for him, something even greater and will someday be perceived as being more precious than the privilege of entering the Holy Land.

My hopes and prayers are with our friends and families in Gush Katif. May HaShem grant them all the wisdom and strength and the needed courage to deliver them through these dark and confusing times. May HaShem bless their families and reward them for their sacrifices and their steadfast faith. May the Jewish people merit that these dark times be a prelude to the ultimate redemption to come, speedily in our days.

amein amein amein selah va'ed. beautiful post DM.
oh and btw, you are very right, my nephew IS very cute. :-)
Ari---Thank you for putting into words what my heart is saying and crying----I feel so sad and utterly helpless. Many tehillim groups have been formed here in Baltimore for our "friends" in the Gush. Hugs, Mom
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I was reading your Blog...pretty rough stuff. gaza strip and angry rock throwing. hey listen, can you explain what that HaShem means? I've never seen or heard that term.
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