As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
Dear Rahm and David,
I’m writing this as I sit and watch, live via the Internet, the ceremony marking the rededication of the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem, in the area you would classify “east Jerusalem,” or “disputed territory,” or perhaps “occupied territory.”
Before asking a few questions, I’d like to describe to you several men who took part in tonight’s celebration.
First, there is Reuven “Ruby” Rivlin, presently speaker of the Knesset. A seventh generation Jerusalemite, Ruby is a Rivlin from both his mother and father’s side, descended from both the Ba’al Shem Tov and the Vilna Gaon.
Rivlin, a seasoned politician, had trouble controlling his voice as he spoke, his words quivering with emotion, as he repeated the words of his great-grandfather, who spoke at the rededication of the destroyed Hurva shul a hundred and fifty years ago.
Also speaking briefly was former Prisoner of Zion and present chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky, who described how, in 1992, he convinced the Israeli government to unanimously approve reconstruction of the Hurva, destroyed by the Jordanians following their occupation of Jerusalem in 1948.
But the man who most impressed me was Vadim Rabinovitch, an Israeli from Russia who contributed heavily to the renovation of the Hurva. Rabinovitch spoke briefly, albeit in Russian, and announced that he and his partners, whose financial fortunes built the Hurva, would participate in rebuilding the nearby Tiferet Yisrael synagogue, also destroyed by the Arabs during the War of Independence. These men, who grew up without any Jewish background, and who today barely speak Hebrew, are investing their life’s fortunes in synagogues in Jerusalem.
And you, Rahm and David, what are you investing your lives in?
Rahm, it is said you are the cornerstone of your boss’s policy toward Israel and the Middle East. Since this administration took office, you have been quoted, time and time again, as pushing a two-state solution. “Israel,” you’ve said, “now faces a moment of truth – it can either acquiesce to international demands and in return have its most serious threats dealt with, or maintain the status quo and have those threats persist.”
In other words, Israel’s future as a state, and in large part the continued existence of the Jewish people, is dependent on Israel acquiescing to the demands of the U.S. and Arab terrorists.
And David, just a few days ago you publicly turned Israel over your knee and paddled it, saying, “What happened there was an affront . It was an insult . This was not the right way to behave.” This, of course, in reference to the announcement that Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem.
Is this the behavior of two good Jewish boys who, it is said, love Israel?
Truthfully, Rahm, it’s very difficult to understand your actions. You belong to an Orthodox synagogue in Chicago. You grew up in a Jewish home, with a strong affinity to Israel. Your father was born in Jerusalem and your uncle, for whom you were named, was killed by Arabs in Jerusalem. And you still support a position forbidding Jewish building in Jerusalem?
And David, you too are no stranger to Judaism. Born on the Lower East Side in New York, you always knew you were Jewish. Yet you see fit to push your own people into security situations that jeopardize the continued existence of the Jewish state.
How is it that men like you, whose lives have always been saturated with Judaism, do not comprehend simple truths understood by others who grew up in Soviet Russia knowing almost nothing about their Jewish roots?
Even your names reflect your Jewish souls: David, dating back to King David, and Rahm, meaning “high,” hinting at the Creator, and in your case a form of the word rachamim, meaning mercy. Upon whom do you have mercy, Mr. Emanuel? Perhaps both of you should repudiate your names, changing them, as did Hellenistic Jews in Israel during the time of the Greek occupation. How can you carry such Jewish names yet at the same time assist in pushing your people to the brink?
I have one other question for both of you. I am writing this on the night that marks the first day of the new month of Nissan, the month of geula, of redemption from Egypt. In exactly two weeks we will begin the Passover holiday, commencing with the Seder, the first Pesach meal, when we relate the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt.
About the Author: David Wilder is the spokesperson for the Hebron Community.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Values at the very heart of the UN are threatened by extremist ideologies targeting our way of life
Any Jew who ties his fate to Israel should be able to vote in Israel’s elections-even before aliyah
Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.
The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.
Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general
Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.
In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.
Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.
Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address
Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.
The agenda of articles appearing 20 years after the Goldstein episode has nothing to do with human rights or suffering.
Ariel Sharon. He had many positions, and many titles. I will remember him as a monster.
Tomorrow, together with literally tens of thousands here in Hebron and Kiryat Arba, we will read in the Torah how Abraham, almost 4,000 years ago, purchased the Caves of Machpela for us, his children.
A few hours after the murder, the Prime Minister issued a directive to allow Jews back into Beit HaMachpela immediately.
People here develop “antennas” which pick up vibrations in the air, and the vibes were definitely there.
The first time was many years ago. I had just concluded explanations about Yeshivat Knesset Yisrael” which arrived in Hebron from Slobodka, in Lithuania in 1924. The Hebron Heritage Museum at Beit Hadassah features an exhibit about this illustrious Torah-learning academy, nicknamed the ‘Hebron Yeshiva,’ which includes a ‘class picture’ from 1928. As I finished […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/next-year-in-an-open-letter-to-rahm-emanuel-and-david-axelrod/2010/03/17/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: