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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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Orders are Orders


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“We are trying our best, Mr. President,” the Prime Minister said.

“What’s the matter with tear gas?” the President asked.

“The wind blows it away.”

“Then use rubber bullets.”

“No one is afraid of rubber bullets these days.”

“Then start making concessions. On both sides. With a little flexibility, we can wrap this thing up.”

“With your help, Mr. President, I am sure that we will.”

Sweating, the Prime Minister set down the phone. Immediately, he had the Defense Minister back on the line. “The orders stay the same,” he told him.

“The same?” the Defense Minister asked in an uncertain tone.

“That’s right. The same!” the Prime Minister barked.

“Sorry for the question, Dov, but exactly what does that mean? You know as well as I do that the orders change every week.”

“They don’t change every week,” the Israeli leader fumed. “The government’s policy is clear. Orders are orders. A soldier is not to open fire unless his life is clearly at stake.”

“Yes, sir,” the Defense Minister answered. Even before he hung up the phone, he gave the command to call the Ramat-Kal.

The Ramat-Kal called the Aluf HaPekud. The Aluf HaPekud called the Mefaked HaUgdah. The Mefaked HaUgdah called the Machat. The Machat called the Magad. The Magad called the Mem-peh. The Mem-peh called the Mem-mem. The Mem-men called the Mem-kaf.

Without further hesitation, the Mem-kaf rang up the guard tower.

“Izzy, do you hear me?” the Mem-kaf yelled over the wire. “Izzy are you there? Do you hear me, Izzy? Izzy, are you there? Do you hear me? Izzy, are you there?”

Tzvi Fishman

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." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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