I read a story in the paper over the weekend, and it reminded me of a story of my own.
The newspaper told of a family in Gush Katif. When the soldiers came to expel them from their homes, they took the Mezuza off from the doorpost and gave it to the lead soldier. They told him to return it to them in the future.
Recently they inquired about the soldier through a third party, and asked to meet with him and get their Mezuza back.
The family was told that the soldier did not want to meet with them, and he also doesn’t want to return the Mezuza, which he is still holding on to.
Before the Expulsion, when I was trying to sneak people into Gush Katif, I would pick up hitchhikers, and we’d drive down trying to get past the army/police roadblocks and into Gush Katif.
Sometimes we’d find our way blocked, and have to go off-road, driving through the fields, ditches and dirt roads. Quite an experience, especially when your car is not made for off-road driving.
We even drove right through some of the makeshift army bases, which was quite surreal (stopping for ice cream at the Gazlan).
But more often than not, if the person guarding the road was a soldier, and the policemen wasn’t standing nearby watching him, we’d ask the soldier what he thought of the Disengagement.
Most didn’t want to answer, only telling us they weren’t allowed to let us go past, and then quietly mention the policeman is watching what they say and do.
At that point I’d ask them, “What do you plan to tell your children in 10 or 20 years from now, when they ask where you where and what you did during the Disengagement?”
I’d tell them, “You have 2 options, you can tell them you followed your orders and participated in the destruction of the homes of your fellow Jews — OR you can tell them how you actively helped sneak other people past the roadblocks to fight the Disengagement.”
“Which story do you want to be able to tell your children?”
The soldiers always let us pass.JoeSettler