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Dear Dr. Yael:

Although Purim has ended, I wanted to share a poem I wrote about the holiday with your readers. I think we must all be aware that, unfortunately, Jewish blood is still perceived as cheap.

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Achdus
By Annette Amelia Mandis

 

Haman’s hatred,
Devilish goal,
Planning killing,
“Worthless” Jews… Acquired malice.

 

Yet Queen Esther,
Fasting, praying,
Turning to Hashem,
Created unity… Possessed compassion.

 

Haman’s descendants,
Today’s enemies,
Israeli civilians,
In mortal danger.

 

Hamas rockets,
Tunnels of destruction,
Horrendous, monstrous,
Evil to the core.

 

Incredibly,
Jewish blood,
“Valueless,”
Yesterday, today.

 

World abandoned,
Jews repeatedly,
What power is,
Our salvation?

 

Are we willing,
To create achdus,
Attempt hastening,
Moshiach’s arrival?

 

 

For millennia, Jewish blood has been considered valueless by the non-Jewish world. This poem’s focus is on the fact that nothing has changed. So what positive reaction do we Jews still possess?

Today’s news is twisted and distorted. In addition, rational thought seems to have escaped most secular minds. It’s actually “politically correct” to view Palestinians as suffering because of Israel. In actuality, however, they are treated far better in Israel than in their own Arab countries.

I feel it’s extremely important for Jews worldwide to unite. I believe that Hashem will only bring Moshiach when we finally achieve achdus. Are we truly willing to open our hands in full acceptance of all fellow Jews regardless of whether they’re unaffiliated, Reform, Conservative or Orthodox? Let’s reflect on this carefully since it is vital to our very existence.

Annete Amelia Mandis

 

Dear Annete,

Thank you for your amazing poem and your commentary, which I felt was so important to share with our readers.

We must never forget that we are still in Galus, even if we live in Israel. We will be there until the time of Moshiach when the world recognizes that Hashem runs the world and we are indeed the “Chosen Nation.” Our job is to find ways to bring that period of time closer. Achdus amongst the various groups in Jewry is a great way to start. It behooves all of us to find ways to reach out to our not-yet-observant brothers and sisters and help them see the beauty that is Torah and mitzvos. That would truly create achdus in Klal Yisrael.

I once heard a kiruv professional say, “Stop thinking that kiruv should be left to the kiruv professionals. Every one of you knows someone who is not frum and you should be reaching out to that person.”

A story comes to mind: In a certain community there lives a non-religious wealthy man who was adamantly opposed to the shul next to his property building an extension. When he was asked why it bothered him so much, he replied that he hated religious Jews. He had lived next door to an Orthodox family for years and they never even invited him to visit their sukkah.

What a sad story. This family was so wrapped up in their daily lives, they didn’t even see the opportunity to bring another person back to Yiddishkeit. Imagine how different things would have been if they had reached out to him?

Each of us has the chance to bring Moshiach by reaching out to all the lost souls and helping them find a way to connect to our Father in Heaven. Look around you. I am sure every one of you knows someone whom you could invite for a Shabbos – even just for a Shabbos meal. Yes, you might be rebuffed, my husband and I have been rejected many times, told “it was not a convenient time” for the person, but we just keep trying.

Thank you again, Annete, and may we all be zoche to bring Moshiach soon.

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at www.jewishpress.com and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at www.dryaelrespler.com.
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