Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.
Seven-year-old Shoshana ran from the kitchen, the glass of orange juice shaking wildly as big globs of the liquid splashed on the floor. Through the living room she ran, and then made her way up the stairs to her older brother’s bedroom.
“Yonatan! Quick. Listen. I hear it again!”
The 18-year-old scooped his younger sister in his strong arms and quickly walked to the open window. The blue-and-white flag hanging from a branch on the apple tree fluttered in the early evening breeze as the setting sun colored the skies a fiery red. Far above, a majestic eagle, his wings spread wide, soared across the valley, his eyes seeking a passing prey. Serenity reigned supreme as the siblings stood still, eyes searching the hills, ears alert for the sound Shoshana said she’d been hearing.
“I hear it toward nightfall, when the sun begins to set.”
Yonatan smiled and shushed her to be still. They listened. And then…
“There! You hear it?” she yelled excitedly.
Yonatan smiled. “Yes, Shoshana, I hear it.”
The sorrowful tune was unmistakable; someone was playing taps in a slow yet steady tune. So sad. So haunting.
“What is it, Yonatan?” the little girl whispered.
“Yes. Taps. It’s the melody that signals an end. A farewell. It puts things to rest, buries the past. A tune that signals finality.”
The little girl looked confused.
“Yonatan, I don’t understand a word you are saying!”
“Here. Sit here on my bed and I’ll explain. Whenever there is a war, soldiers fight gallantly against the enemy. They do all they can to prevent the enemy from succeeding. The enemy’s soldiers fight for their country’s cause. Soldiers on both sides get hurt. Some pay the ultimate price in defense of their nation – the ones who do not return.”
“You mean like Uncle Chaim?”
“Yes. Just like Uncle Chaim…who didn’t return.”
Her big brown eyes widened with sudden understanding. She placed her head against her brother’s shoulder.
“And those who don’t return are laid to rest. The words of Kaddish are the last things said on the fresh grave. In other nations, when a soldier’s coffin is lowered into the ground, taps are played by a lone bugle boy. The haunting, somber melody signals a closure, an end.”
“I think I understand. But…why is someone playing that melody here? Who died?”
“An idea died, Shosh, an idea.”
“An idea? What do you mean?”
“Not so many years ago, Jews throughout the world experienced a horrible calamity. Six million of us – men, women and children – were murdered by the Nazis…”
“You mean like Mommy’s grandparents?”
“Yes. Just like them. And the remnants, the survivors of that horrible Holocaust established a land of refuge. A place they could all their own. The State of Israel rose from the ashes that engulfed world Jewry. There were many debates and arguments (they still go on) as to whether they should have established the state or not.”
“Because the state was not established according to the Torah. But that’s a discussion for another time. The fact is that millions of Jews came to these shores, were welcomed, and reestablished and rebuilt their shattered lives. The Arabs tried, and are still trying, to destroy Israel. But Hashem never abandons His children, even if they betray Him. For 56 years, unrelentingly, the Jews here fought to survive. ‘Never Again!’ they vowed. Never again would Jews be persecuted, expelled, slaughtered, the way they were in the past. But the world, never very fond of living Jews, continues to tighten the noose meant to strangle the State of Israel.”
About the Author: Isaac Kohn is senior vice president of Prime Care Consultants, a division of Target Care Holdings LTD.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The British government assured Anglo-Jewry that it is attacking the rising levels of anti-Semitism.
Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.
Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.
Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists
In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site
Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”
The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps
Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.
How many sites that tell you to check your politics at the door have 10,000 likes?
In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.
While we recognize the Republican Jewish Coalition is hardly a non-partisan outfit, a snippet from a statement the group released is worthy of note:
“These are good matzah balls,” my aunt Robertine would say, but her sister Irma would counter “No, not compared to Mama’s. They were always so light yet they never fell apart.”
Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.
The thug knew exactly what you are and he went after you anyway, Mr. Anteby.
Last month United Torah Jewry MKs heckled a speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu and then walked out of the room. As the prime minister read out the names of the ministers in his new government, UTJ MK Yisrael Eichler shouted, “Jews don’t ban Jews” from the Knesset. (The reference was to demands by the Yesh Atid Party that haredi parties be excluded from Netanyahu’s new coalition.)
In a recent speech, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested that Israel consider unilaterally disengaging from Judea and Samaria.
“If it is impossible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians,” he said, “we should consider an interim arrangement, or even a unilateral disengagement.”
There are so many events about which one ought to write. So much is happening on a daily and even an hourly basis. Slaughter in Norway, unrelenting turmoil in the Middle East, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, revolutions and the threat of a nuclear apocalypse emanating from the maniacal regime in Iran.
While in Israel week before last, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke out of two sides of his mouth. (No real surprise there. The Obama administration has become famous for such indecisive doubletalk.)
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/requiem-for-a-dream/2004/11/03/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: