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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Kfar Darom’

Pain and Sacrifice: Yours, Not Mine

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

When an Israeli politician starts talking about pain and sacrifice, watch out. Someone is about to get shafted.

MK Dov Lipman from Yesh Atid recently professed his love for Eretz Yisrael in the ironic context of saying how it “will pain me greatly” to destroy Jewish communities, as part of the two-state “solution” that he supports. Lipman had a related exchange in an interview from February:

Interviewer: And the fabric of Israeli society and the way the army functions is such that we could actually dismantle dozens of settlements in the course of a peace agreement without ripping the country apart?

Lipman: It can be done, if it’s done the right way. We can certainly learn the lessons of the [2005] Disengagement in terms of there being some things that you can do and certain things that should not be done. Yair also has been outspoken about how the evacuees have been treated…

In reality, Lipman and his ilk have learned nothing from the destruction of Gush Katif, the chief lessons of which are: Stop expelling Jews, and stop empowering Israel’s enemies. As Iran stated after this colossal injustice which has caused so much misery:

“The Zionist regime retreats in the face of the slightest resistance. The willingness of the Zionists to leave behind their synagogues in Gaza demonstrates conclusively that they have no God, and therefore, of course, no religious connection to the Holy Land; they will now be easily ejected from all of occupied Palestine.”

The terminology Lipman uses also betrays his coarseness toward what the government perpetrated in 2005. Citizens formerly of Gush Katif are not “evacuees” who were saved from a hurricane or such. As a Gush Katif expellee has commented about the similar falsification in usage of “uprooting”:

“I don’t consider the word choice to be a matter of semantics or euphemisms. It reflects a world outlook. The use of uprooting seems to desensitize the mind, soften the reprehensible event, and merely serve to pave the way for future expulsions in disputed parts of the Land of Israel. It exonerates the Israeli government of its crime against the Gush Katif residents in particular, and the Jewish nation in general.”

If Dov Lipman is truly pained greatly over expelling more Jews, let him lead the way by leaving his home in Beit Shemesh and moving his family to a caravan for several years. But as with the prime minister, who spoke in 2011 about making “painful compromises to achieve this historic peace,” other Jews always seem to suffer the pain. Likewise, when “public security” minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch recently called to intensify Israel’s already repressive gun control policies, one doubts that he will lack for personal protection.

No, it’s not the political elites who tend to lose their homes or lives. The victims are people like the DeYoung family formerly of Kfar Darom and Yitzhak Ames Hy”d. Unlike Lipman or Netanyahu, openly hostile politicians such as Ibrahim Sarsur and Jamal Zahalka at least have the decency to abstain from claims of compassion when they propose loathsome deeds.

Transformation of Ruins: A Gush Katif Wedding

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Shevat 23, 5770, 07 February 10 06:16

 

Those of you who’ve been reading my postings over the years might remember my strong bonds to Gush Katif, and particularly to Kfar Darom. Every once in a while, for one reason or another, I find myself flipping through photos that I took, prior to its destruction. It is very difficult to view the pictures; my guts begin churning and sometimes it’s even worse. The displacement of so many people, the abandonment of our land, and the catastrophic consequences, culminating in 8,000 rockets fired into Israel, the Gaza War, and of course, the present challenges of Goldstone were so totally unnecessary. All of these results were predicted, time and time again, before the expulsion, but were totally ignored by Sharon and Co. It is still beyond comprehension.
 
Our best friends at that time in Kfar Darom, then like family (and today with an actual family connection), were the Sudri family. We met Noam and Tali Sudri about 12 years ago.  Our oldest daughter, Bat-Tzion was fulfilling her year of National Service, at Kfar Darom, as a volunteer, working at the Agricultural Institute and also with the children in the community. The Sudris became Bat-Tzion’s adopted family, and they became very close. We met them and their children as well, and began spending summer vacations in that “Garden of Eden,” and Shabbat weekends with the Sudris.
 
A few years later they introduced another one of our daughters, also doing her volunteer service at Kfar Darom, to Tali’s younger cousin. Not too long after meeting they became engaged and married, making us “family.”
 
Almost five years ago I spent Kfar Darom’s last Shabbat with Noam, Tali and their family.  It was a Shabbat, just like any other, but really it wasn’t. We all dined together, sang Shabbat songs, spoke Torah; but during Shabbat morning davening, prayers not normally recited on Shabbat were said; no they weren’t said, they were heart-wrenching pleas to G-d to somehow prevent the destruction.  On Shabbat a person is not permitted to mourn, yet I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the packed synagogue. Kfar Darom’s Rabbi, Avraham Schrieber, (now dean of the Yeshiva High School where my son studies, in Ashdod) spoke, saying ‘none of us know where we’ll be next Shabbat .’ Yet his voice did not quiver, rather it was filled with conviction and faith.
 
The next Shabbat Kfar Darom’s refugees filled a hotel in Beer Sheva.
 
Of course we’ve remained in contact with Noam and Tali and their family over the years. Since the expulsion they’ve lived in a temporary Kfar Darom, in a large apartment building in Ashkelon. Not quite the house they lived in, but at least it’s a roof over their heads. They’ve only been waiting almost five years for commencement of construction of their new “permanent homes” in Nir Akiva, in southern Israel. Despite a multitude of promises, the deal still hasn’t been finalized. So they are forced to spend the “reparations” received following the expulsion on rent in Ashkelon.
 

Their oldest daughter Tamar was the subject of at least one article I wrote following the expulsion.  I also have an interesting photo of her, dressed all in orange. Last year, Tamar was a tour guide for Midreshet Hevron in Kiryat Arba, carrying out her year of national service. 

 

And now I have another photo of Tamar, dressed all in white. Last night she married a wonderful man named Oneg, who studies Torah in Kiryat Gat.
 
            The wedding was a particularly emotional event, all weddings are. But this one even more so. First we have a strong bond with the kallah’s family. But there was another level as well.  So many of Kfar Darom’s residents were present, many of whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Knowing that they are still suffering because of the inconceivable stupidity of the Israeli government and the continuing turtle-speed saga of resettlement is extremely distressing.
 
The pinnacle of the wedding celebration comes not at the end of the party, rather at the beginning. Under the chupah, the wedding canopy, the chatan, places the ring on his new wife’s finger and then the sheva brachot, the seven blessings are recited, accompanied by joyous singing.  Jewish s’machot do no not end there. At the conclusion of the chupah, we repeat the age-old verse: If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate, If I do not remember you, If I do not place Jerusalem above my highest joy. (Psalms 137:5-7)  The chatan, in symbolic remembrance of the destruction of the Temple, then breaks a glass, stomping his leg down on it.
 
It is also customary to place ashes removed from Temple Mount, remnants from the ruins of the Beit HaMikdash, on the chatan’s forehead. Last night the officiating Rabbi put ashes on Oneg’s forehead from the ruins of Jerusalem, and also remains from the ruins of Kfar Darom in Gush Katif.
 
Despite the elation of the wedding ceremony, the poignancy of the moment was heartbreaking. At most chupot the only emotion expressed is bliss. Last night, as those vestiges from Kfar Darom were placed under Oneg’s kippah, and the audience recited, together with the chatan – “Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim – If I forget thee O Jerusalem,” I believe that even the kallah was silently weeping. It was hard not to.
 
But then, with the breaking of the glass, and the resounding mazal tov echoing through the hall, happiness prevailed. The singing and dancing erased those few melancholy moments.
 
            Tamar and Oneg will undoubtedly continue the tradition of building a “new house in Israel.” It is said that he who brings joy to a chatan and kallah is as if he were adding one stone to the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Last night, all those present, and most especially, the chatan and kallah, did not only begin the renewal of Jerusalem; they also commenced on a journey which will, with G-d’s help, lead them back to Gush Katif, to Kfar Darom and to the transformation of the ruins left in the sand to a beautiful, thriving, community, atoning for the horrid transgression committed by Israel almost five years ago.
 

Mazal Tov!

Transformation of Ruins: A Gush Katif Wedding

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Shevat 23, 5770, 07 February 10 06:16

 

Those of you who’ve been reading my postings over the years might remember my strong bonds to Gush Katif, and particularly to Kfar Darom. Every once in a while, for one reason or another, I find myself flipping through photos that I took, prior to its destruction. It is very difficult to view the pictures; my guts begin churning and sometimes it’s even worse. The displacement of so many people, the abandonment of our land, and the catastrophic consequences, culminating in 8,000 rockets fired into Israel, the Gaza War, and of course, the present challenges of Goldstone were so totally unnecessary. All of these results were predicted, time and time again, before the expulsion, but were totally ignored by Sharon and Co. It is still beyond comprehension.

 

Our best friends at that time in Kfar Darom, then like family (and today with an actual family connection), were the Sudri family. We met Noam and Tali Sudri about 12 years ago.  Our oldest daughter, Bat-Tzion was fulfilling her year of National Service, at Kfar Darom, as a volunteer, working at the Agricultural Institute and also with the children in the community. The Sudris became Bat-Tzion’s adopted family, and they became very close. We met them and their children as well, and began spending summer vacations in that “Garden of Eden,” and Shabbat weekends with the Sudris.

 

A few years later they introduced another one of our daughters, also doing her volunteer service at Kfar Darom, to Tali’s younger cousin. Not too long after meeting they became engaged and married, making us “family.”

 

Almost five years ago I spent Kfar Darom’s last Shabbat with Noam, Tali and their family.  It was a Shabbat, just like any other, but really it wasn’t. We all dined together, sang Shabbat songs, spoke Torah; but during Shabbat morning davening, prayers not normally recited on Shabbat were said; no they weren’t said, they were heart-wrenching pleas to G-d to somehow prevent the destruction.  On Shabbat a person is not permitted to mourn, yet I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the packed synagogue. Kfar Darom’s Rabbi, Avraham Schrieber, (now dean of the Yeshiva High School where my son studies, in Ashdod) spoke, saying ‘none of us know where we’ll be next Shabbat .’ Yet his voice did not quiver, rather it was filled with conviction and faith.

 

The next Shabbat Kfar Darom’s refugees filled a hotel in Beer Sheva.

 

Of course we’ve remained in contact with Noam and Tali and their family over the years. Since the expulsion they’ve lived in a temporary Kfar Darom, in a large apartment building in Ashkelon. Not quite the house they lived in, but at least it’s a roof over their heads. They’ve only been waiting almost five years for commencement of construction of their new “permanent homes” in Nir Akiva, in southern Israel. Despite a multitude of promises, the deal still hasn’t been finalized. So they are forced to spend the “reparations” received following the expulsion on rent in Ashkelon.

 

Their oldest daughter Tamar was the subject of at least one article I wrote following the expulsion.  I also have an interesting photo of her, dressed all in orange. Last year, Tamar was a tour guide for Midreshet Hevron in Kiryat Arba, carrying out her year of national service. 

 

And now I have another photo of Tamar, dressed all in white. Last night she married a wonderful man named Oneg, who studies Torah in Kiryat Gat.

 

            The wedding was a particularly emotional event, all weddings are. But this one even more so. First we have a strong bond with the kallah’s family. But there was another level as well.  So many of Kfar Darom’s residents were present, many of whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Knowing that they are still suffering because of the inconceivable stupidity of the Israeli government and the continuing turtle-speed saga of resettlement is extremely distressing.

 

The pinnacle of the wedding celebration comes not at the end of the party, rather at the beginning. Under the chupah, the wedding canopy, the chatan, places the ring on his new wife’s finger and then the sheva brachot, the seven blessings are recited, accompanied by joyous singing.  Jewish s’machot do no not end there. At the conclusion of the chupah, we repeat the age-old verse: If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate, If I do not remember you, If I do not place Jerusalem above my highest joy. (Psalms 137:5-7)  The chatan, in symbolic remembrance of the destruction of the Temple, then breaks a glass, stomping his leg down on it.

 

It is also customary to place ashes removed from Temple Mount, remnants from the ruins of the Beit HaMikdash, on the chatan’s forehead. Last night the officiating Rabbi put ashes on Oneg’s forehead from the ruins of Jerusalem, and also remains from the ruins of Kfar Darom in Gush Katif.

 

Despite the elation of the wedding ceremony, the poignancy of the moment was heartbreaking. At most chupot the only emotion expressed is bliss. Last night, as those vestiges from Kfar Darom were placed under Oneg’s kippah, and the audience recited, together with the chatan – “Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim – If I forget thee O Jerusalem,” I believe that even the kallah was silently weeping. It was hard not to.

 

But then, with the breaking of the glass, and the resounding mazal tov echoing through the hall, happiness prevailed. The singing and dancing erased those few melancholy moments.

 

            Tamar and Oneg will undoubtedly continue the tradition of building a “new house in Israel.” It is said that he who brings joy to a chatan and kallah is as if he were adding one stone to the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Last night, all those present, and most especially, the chatan and kallah, did not only begin the renewal of Jerusalem; they also commenced on a journey which will, with G-d’s help, lead them back to Gush Katif, to Kfar Darom and to the transformation of the ruins left in the sand to a beautiful, thriving, community, atoning for the horrid transgression committed by Israel almost five years ago.

 

Mazal Tov!

Transformation of Ruins: A Gush Katif Wedding

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Shevat 23, 5770, 07 February 10 06:16


 


Those of you who’ve been reading my postings over the years might remember my strong bonds to Gush Katif, and particularly to Kfar Darom. Every once in a while, for one reason or another, I find myself flipping through photos that I took, prior to its destruction. It is very difficult to view the pictures; my guts begin churning and sometimes it’s even worse. The displacement of so many people, the abandonment of our land, and the catastrophic consequences, culminating in 8,000 rockets fired into Israel, the Gaza War, and of course, the present challenges of Goldstone were so totally unnecessary. All of these results were predicted, time and time again, before the expulsion, but were totally ignored by Sharon and Co. It is still beyond comprehension.

 

Our best friends at that time in Kfar Darom, then like family (and today with an actual family connection), were the Sudri family. We met Noam and Tali Sudri about 12 years ago.  Our oldest daughter, Bat-Tzion was fulfilling her year of National Service, at Kfar Darom, as a volunteer, working at the Agricultural Institute and also with the children in the community. The Sudris became Bat-Tzion’s adopted family, and they became very close. We met them and their children as well, and began spending summer vacations in that “Garden of Eden,” and Shabbat weekends with the Sudris.

 

A few years later they introduced another one of our daughters, also doing her volunteer service at Kfar Darom, to Tali’s younger cousin. Not too long after meeting they became engaged and married, making us “family.”

 

Almost five years ago I spent Kfar Darom’s last Shabbat with Noam, Tali and their family.  It was a Shabbat, just like any other, but really it wasn’t. We all dined together, sang Shabbat songs, spoke Torah; but during Shabbat morning davening, prayers not normally recited on Shabbat were said; no they weren’t said, they were heart-wrenching pleas to G-d to somehow prevent the destruction.  On Shabbat a person is not permitted to mourn, yet I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the packed synagogue. Kfar Darom’s Rabbi, Avraham Schrieber, (now dean of the Yeshiva High School where my son studies, in Ashdod) spoke, saying ‘none of us know where we’ll be next Shabbat .’ Yet his voice did not quiver, rather it was filled with conviction and faith.

 

The next Shabbat Kfar Darom’s refugees filled a hotel in Beer Sheva.

 

Of course we’ve remained in contact with Noam and Tali and their family over the years. Since the expulsion they’ve lived in a temporary Kfar Darom, in a large apartment building in Ashkelon. Not quite the house they lived in, but at least it’s a roof over their heads. They’ve only been waiting almost five years for commencement of construction of their new “permanent homes” in Nir Akiva, in southern Israel. Despite a multitude of promises, the deal still hasn’t been finalized. So they are forced to spend the “reparations” received following the expulsion on rent in Ashkelon.

 

Their oldest daughter Tamar was the subject of at least one article I wrote following the expulsion.  I also have an interesting photo of her, dressed all in orange. Last year, Tamar was a tour guide for Midreshet Hevron in Kiryat Arba, carrying out her year of national service. 


 


And now I have another photo of Tamar, dressed all in white. Last night she married a wonderful man named Oneg, who studies Torah in Kiryat Gat.

 

            The wedding was a particularly emotional event, all weddings are. But this one even more so. First we have a strong bond with the kallah’s family. But there was another level as well.  So many of Kfar Darom’s residents were present, many of whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Knowing that they are still suffering because of the inconceivable stupidity of the Israeli government and the continuing turtle-speed saga of resettlement is extremely distressing.

 

The pinnacle of the wedding celebration comes not at the end of the party, rather at the beginning. Under the chupah, the wedding canopy, the chatan, places the ring on his new wife’s finger and then the sheva brachot, the seven blessings are recited, accompanied by joyous singing.  Jewish s’machot do no not end there. At the conclusion of the chupah, we repeat the age-old verse: If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate, If I do not remember you, If I do not place Jerusalem above my highest joy. (Psalms 137:5-7)  The chatan, in symbolic remembrance of the destruction of the Temple, then breaks a glass, stomping his leg down on it.

 

It is also customary to place ashes removed from Temple Mount, remnants from the ruins of the Beit HaMikdash, on the chatan’s forehead. Last night the officiating Rabbi put ashes on Oneg’s forehead from the ruins of Jerusalem, and also remains from the ruins of Kfar Darom in Gush Katif.

 

Despite the elation of the wedding ceremony, the poignancy of the moment was heartbreaking. At most chupot the only emotion expressed is bliss. Last night, as those vestiges from Kfar Darom were placed under Oneg’s kippah, and the audience recited, together with the chatan – “Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim – If I forget thee O Jerusalem,” I believe that even the kallah was silently weeping. It was hard not to.

 

But then, with the breaking of the glass, and the resounding mazal tov echoing through the hall, happiness prevailed. The singing and dancing erased those few melancholy moments.

 

            Tamar and Oneg will undoubtedly continue the tradition of building a “new house in Israel.” It is said that he who brings joy to a chatan and kallah is as if he were adding one stone to the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Last night, all those present, and most especially, the chatan and kallah, did not only begin the renewal of Jerusalem; they also commenced on a journey which will, with G-d’s help, lead them back to Gush Katif, to Kfar Darom and to the transformation of the ruins left in the sand to a beautiful, thriving, community, atoning for the horrid transgression committed by Israel almost five years ago.

 

Mazal Tov!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/transformation-of-ruins-a-gush-katif-wedding-2/2010/02/17/

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