On the day of Disengagement one of the generals came to our house and told us, “It’s better for you to leave now. If you wait for tomorrow then we’ll have to use different techniques and it’s not good for the kids.” We felt intimidated but decided to stay until the end.
The next morning, a soldier knocked on our front door. We were eating breakfast. He asked me, “Are you the owner of the house?” I answered, yes. He went on to say, “I am sorry but you have 30 minutes to pack your things and get out of the house.” So there we were in the middle of eating breakfast. We told our children to put together a small backpack. We didn’t pack anything. All our belongings remained in the house. We didn’t know where we were going.
A half hour later came another knock on the door. I looked outside and I saw that army surrounded my house. We were told to get out of the house and into the bus. The soldiers escorted us on all sides as we walked to the bus. They made a line on the right and on the left. Even if you wanted to escape, you couldn’t. So I asked them a question: “Why do you want to help Hamas be in power? I don’t understand.” I didn’t receive an answer. And that was the last time we saw our house.
We had two pet rabbits. When we went on the bus we saw them from the bus windows. They were looking at us – and only then did we remember them. We wondered who would feed them. The kids tearfully said goodbye to their rabbits.
We stayed in our house until the last minute. We were one of the last families removed. The soldiers drove us to Jerusalem.
What we left behind: My job, our kids’ schools and our community.
Feelings toward the State: I think that the State of Israel is totally irrelevant. I am still happy that I’m in Eretz Yisroel but I didn’t understand why the government wanted to help its enemies.
The biggest difficulty: To have to make a new start at the age when you want to reap the benefits from the fruit that you’ve sewn. When your own people do this to you, it’s very hard on you.
What happened to their community: All my close neighbors and friends went to different places. We’re still in touch but it’s not the same thing. We don’t have that special neighborly connection with each other anymore.
Something good that’s happened since: Luckily enough for us my wife has a friend who was connected to Rav Modechai Eliyahu, of blessed memory. We asked him what to do after the Disengagement. We were hopeless. He asked me where I worked? I told him I was still working part-time at a Netivot school. The Rav said then that we should move to the Netivot area and everything will be good for us. So we only stayed 3 weeks in a Jerusalem hotel unlike most of the people who stayed for 8 months. Within 3 weeks we rented a house in the small and pastoral community of Kfar Maimon.
We were able to find work in the re-established Netzarim community in Halutza. Ora as kindergarten teacher and myself in the newly built yeshiva teaching English. Baruch Hashem we have now built a house in Nitzan.
What do you wish for yourselves: I now wish that the interaction between the people be better. Everyone is closed in his own house. I have work, our children have good schools, we have a nice house, the surroundings are beautiful but now we have to work on building a new community that cares for one another.
I really hope that Disengagement will not happen again. Giving away the land of Israel is not negotiable.