web analytics
July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



My Incredible First Day in Israel


The Russian Compound in Jerusalem

The Russian Compound in Jerusalem
Photo Credit: DG Jones

During the two years that I was running the Volunteers for Israel (Sarel) project in New York, my connection with The Jewish Press continued via articles that I would write about the campaign and publicity events that The Press would sponsor. I learned a lot about the power of creative journalism from Yehuda Schwartz, the newspaper’s dynamic managing editor, who was gung-ho on the project and gave the recruitment drive a tremendous push in America. When my savings ran out, Meir Indor spoke to a Betarnik friend of his in Israel, who spoke to a Betar buddy who was the Israeli shaliach running the Aliyah Department of the Jewish Agency in Manhattan, and I was offered a job at the Israel Aliyah Center, working in public relations. They figured that since I was sending so many people to Israel on the volunteer program, it would look better for them if I was doing it from their Park Avenue office – with the stipulation that I work on the ongoing volunteer drive only after my regular Sachnut hours. In addition to the Israelis who Indor sent over to help with the volunteer drive (like Baruch Marzal and Zangy who is now directing the Honenu organization), working out of the Jewish Agency, I met a lot of Israeli shalichim on their visits to America. In that manner, I got to know a lot of people even before I came on aliyah – especially a group of a dozen shalichim from the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva and Gush Emunim who came to America to recruit families for the settlements, including Rabbi Moshe Levinger, Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, Rabbi Benny Elon, Yaacov Sternberg, Yechiel Leiter, Yigal Kutai, and Era Rappaport, the “mayor” of Shilo.

One evening I went to visit Era in the house he was staying at in Queens. I discovered his wife, Orit, crying in the living room.

What’s the matter?” I asked.

Haven’t you heard?” she sobbed.

Heard what?”

There’s an arrest warrant out for Era in Israel,” she said. “The Shabak thinks that he’s part of the Jewish Underground.”

To take readers back in time, before the first Intifada, the Arabs were already making life hell for the settlers of Judea and Samaria, throwing stones and molotov cocktails at settler cars and firing at them like ducks in a shooting gallery. When the government of Israel did nothing to quell the unrest, a group of concerned and passionate settlers got together to protect their lives and families. Clandestinely, they planned a series of attacks on key Arab targets, and succeeded in planting a car bomb which blew the legs off the mayor of Shechem who had vowed to dance on Jewish graves in chasing the Jews out of the Land. The Shabak (Israeli Shin Bet Security Agency) believed that Era was involved in that attack. When a plan aimed at the Temple Mount was foiled, a dozen settlers, who became known as the “Jewish Underground,” were arrested in thrown into prison. Now the police were looking for Era Rappaport, who was attending to his dying mother in New York, and helping to bring families to Israel, and who couldn’t be extradited because of his American citizenship.

Once again, to make a long story short, Era showed up that night around two in the morning. He held a small note in his hand from Rabbi Moshe Tendler, who he had just visiting in Monsey. Rabbi Tendler had written the “chevre” of the Underground a sort of vague “haskama” saying that when someone comes to kill you, Jewish law allows you to rise up and kill him first.

It isn’t much, but it’s all we have,” Era said.

Why don’t I write it up into a serious letter?” I offered.

That’s a good idea,” he said. “Tomorrow morning, we can take it to the The Jewish Press and get it printed.”

So I wrote a serious piece out of the three-sentence note, and we drove into Brooklyn first thing in the morning. Era also knew Rabbi Klass and Yehuda Schwartz very well, and the two newspaper chiefs, who were always ready to help Israel, welcomed us happily into their offices.

To tell the truth, I forget whether it was Rabbi Klass or Yehuda Schwartz who said it, but both of them agreed:

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “My Incredible First Day in Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
Current Top Story
Wounded Golani commander returns to his troops on July 22, 2014.
Golani Commander Proves Why the Unit is Known for Bravery
Latest Blogs Stories
Carmeli

IDF volunteers come to Israel just to serve are the true idealists; Sean Carmeli was one of them.


And he whispers one last time, I love you mother.

Shiloh, Israel

It’s absurd, in this war places like Ariel and Shiloh are among the safest in the State of Israel.

Gedalia

Why aren’t American Jews coming s to Israel for the summer; Are they scared because of the war?

If you are lloking to buy socks, this store is NOT where to go! B”H

Ruthie Blum reveals just how hard it is for a Jewish mother to be a patriot at the time of war. Maternal cognitive dissonance On Thursday night, after 10 days of aerial warfare between Hamas terrorists and Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a ground incursion into Gaza. It was a move that much of […]

JoeSettler takes on the IDF Spokesperson’s tweets that he believes are morally wrong and negatively affect the war we are fighting…

The 7 Decisions that changed author Andy Andrews’ life and how they can guide you towards success.

Not asking the world for the right to defend ourselves; such a right is obvious to anyone with a spine.

Where has all the billions of Euros and dollars that have been poured into Gaza over the years gone?

One wishes the PA would distance itself completely from Hamas now for the sake of peace and development in the region.

Israel will never be the underdog, so no defense will be legitimized.

In a war, people die; all Israelis should know that by now.

“We thought they wanted a state; it turns out that all they want is to destroy Israel”

It’s called Operation Protective Edge and is a double-edged sword.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/my-incredible-first-day-in-israel/2012/05/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: