The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Daddy, you’ve been gone now for over two years. The day, the minute, is as clear now as the moment it happened. The murderers waited for you behind the olive trees in the grove on the side of the road – the one the IDF was determined to uproot after Miriam was murdered there. But the Israeli Supreme Court disallowed it. And you, Daddy, paid the price.
In the dusk of the approaching night, they waited for you. Your car never made the turn. That orchard was finally uprooted. But too late for you, Daddy. Too late for me.
I know, Daddy, that you can hear everything that is going on down here. You know, of course, Daddy, that our town, our home, is slated to be turned over to the same murderers who destroyed our lives and the lives of so many others.
The prime minister, it seems, has decided that Israel as a nation has come to the end of the road. He’s tired, I guess, unable and unwilling to continue the struggle for survival. He says that by turning over our home to the murderers Israel will have a better chance to defend itself. How, Daddy? How will his retreat, his surrender accomplish that? The way it did before 1948? Before 1967? It’s very confusing.
Remember the stories you told me about the Holocaust? About the Nazi stormtroopers, the SS, the Gestapo, the frenzied crowds of Hungarian peasants, the hordes of Romanians, Lithuanians, Poles – there were so many, I forget some of the names.
In a deliberate voice you would tell me about the Jews being forced out of their homes, into the streets and onward to the gas chambers. Homes that were built over generations, towns soaked with memories, emptied of their Jewish residents.
I remember the fiery anger in your eyes and the sudden gentleness as you caressed my face and smiled. I remember the words with which you would always finish the stories: ?Never again, child. Never again will Jews be forcibly expelled. Never!?
Daddy, were you wrong?
What’s going on, Daddy? Last night, on the radio, I heard Sharon say that he will throw out anyone who refuses to go willingly. This means, Daddy, that Mommy and I are going to be thrown out of our home if we refuse to go. Sounds like the Nazi command you always imitated. Juden raus, I believe were the words you used.
I heard him, Daddy. We will have to leave, whether we like it or not. Why, Daddy, why?
We discussed this in class and, well, they would never do this to the Arabs living in the village across the road. The teacher said the world would never tolerate an expulsion of Arabs from their homes. The world would consider it ‘ethnic cleansing and inhumane.’ If that is so, why is the world not protesting my expulsion? In fact, the teacher said, the world is cheering on the prime minister.
Daddy, my Daddy. I miss you so much. I remember how they spoke about you. ‘Eulogy,’ they called it. They put you into the deep, black hole in the ground and covered you with the dirt that was piled up on the side. My head was spinning and my eyes were blurred. A gentle hand touched my shoulder. I looked up into Rabbi Ephraim’s teary eyes.
‘Kaddish,’ he whispered.
We returned home. People came and people went. But you, Daddy, you never came back. I would visit your grave (as I do now) up on the hill. I would bring you my homework and sit there telling you about school. I felt your closeness, though my heart ached to see you again. I promised you that, some day, I would build my house there on that other hill so that I would always be close to you. I promised, Daddy.
When they force us to go, Daddy, what will happen to my promise to build that house on that hill? And Daddy, will you remain here, on the hill, alone? Who will come to visit you? Daddy, how can they make me leave you?
About the Author: Isaac Kohn is senior vice president for Prime Care Consultants.
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We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
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She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
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“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
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The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
I laughed when I heard Pelosi’s remarks that she was “near tears” from Bibi’s “condescending” speech
Ms. Foreign Minister, do some reading that won’t cure your insomnia over buildings going up in Israel but may broaden your horizons.
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.
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