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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘soldiers’

A Soldier’s Mother: Who Am I?

Monday, May 16th, 2016
The thing about comments on a blog is that the blog owner has a bunch of choices. The first choice is whether to allow unmoderated comments. As any Israeli can tell you, no Israeli blog and few Jewish blogs are safe from harassment and so, the first choice for most is pretty obvious – we moderate all comments.

The second choice is how to handle comments that are less than complimentary either to the core issues you present or to a stand you have taken. More than once, I have had people ask me in anger why I didn’t put their comments through – and the answer is always the same…because I don’t have to, this is my blog, my life and I present it as I live it. Take it, leave it, love it, hate it – it’s mine.

Sometimes, I put comments through and then answer them; sometimes I leave it to others to respond. Sometimes, I choose not to put them through at all…my right.

Sometimes, I post them, like this: Mahmood Says…

Sometimes, I put them all together… like this: Comments on Comments…

A few days ago, I posted Six Million Tears. today, Anonymous # 478 (or is it #479?) sent me this:

As a Jew living in Germany, by choice. I ask you this – who are you to condemn a whole people? Who are you to pronounce them without forgiveness, damned for ever? My family bled and suffered and died there, and yet we are still here. And we have chosen to never forget, but to find future and hope. Who are you to pronounce Judgement? You are not G-d!

I put the comment through but decided I needed more space to respond, as so I do that here:

You say you are a Jew living in Germany by choice, I’ll confess that this is a choice I do not understand but I wish you well there. I will pray for your safety because I have many doubts and concerns for the Jews who live in Europe.

You ask me who I am to condem a whole people? I will be honest and say that it is not I that may have condemned them but, if anything, that would be their actions, their choices. If they are to be condemned for all time, I doubt I have the power to be the one to do it.

Who am I to pronounce them without forgiveness, damned forever? Well, Judaism is different than other religions. While other religions grant individuals to pronounce God’s forgiveness, we do not. We believe there are two elements of forgiveness. The first is God – who are we to think we can grant God’s forgiveness? I certainly didn’t do that. God is the true and ultimate judge and I would be a fool if I believed that I could speak for God. The second is the person or people who are wronged. I cannot forgive the Nazis for the murders they committed. The only ones who can forgive that are dead. They murdered the ones who could grant them forgiveness. They also need forgiveness from those they wronged but did not kill.

I can tell you to his dying day, my grandfather never forgave the Germans…sadly, he never forgave himself for being unable to earn enough money in America to bring his mother and sisters to safety. To his dying day, my father-in-law never forgave the Germans…and sadly, he never forgave himself for not being near when the Germans came for his parents. My mother-in-law never forgave the Germans either, but worse, she lived her entire life under the shadows of what she survived.

You say your family bled and suffered and died there, and yet you are still there. If I were to say what is in my mind, I would say you are a fool. But my heart tells me I should be more diplomatic, more understanding. I don’t know what keeps you in Germany – is it money?  Is it allegienece to the Deutschland? Whatever it is, it’s a mystery to me.

My family and that of my husband bled, starved, were gassed and cremated. Those that survived gathered together and looked for the farthest places they could get to – Australia, Palestine, the United States. They wanted Palestine but the British blocked them; they got some visas for Australia but were not willing to be separated from their siblings and so lied and said they too were denied. And when the visas finally came through, they fled Europe for America.

You say you will never forget but choose to find future and hope and I commend you for that. I hope you will work hard to educate your friends and neighbors so that they too never forget. As for the future and hope – I live in a land filled with both; they are forever on our minds and in our hears.

And finally you ask who I am to pronounce judgment – and I tell you that I have not. I have simply said what I believe, what I felt when I was in Germany. It was a thought that crossed my mind. I found the Germans to be wonderful, interested, caring people. That was, for me, a wonderful thing. I went expecting to be challenged, to feel threatented. The first time I saw German eyes drop down and look at my Jewish star, I wondered if I had been wrong, over-proud, in wearing it. When he raised his eyes and said in a questioning tone, “Israel?” I felt my body clench but refused, in my mind, to back down and so, almost defiantly, I answered, “Yes!”

I did not expect him to smile, but he did. I did not expect the other Germans next to him to smile either, but they did. One turned to me and said, “hava nagila” and another said “shalom aleichem” – and I too smiled.

And so, going to Germany was a revelation. I have come far from where I was a few years ago when I wrote, They Put Her in a Gas Chamber. I can tell you now that I will never get to where you are.

And finally, you said that I am not God. I am very aware of that and never claimed to be. All I am is a person with a voice and an opinion. You don’t have to like it, and I’m fine with that. But I will tell you who I am…

I am a granddaughter to a man who suffered for decades; I am the wife of a man who watched his parents struggle to live with what was done to them and what they suffered. I was a daughter-in-law for just over 10 years and listened as, for the first time, my mother-in-law began speaking about the Holocaust, describing the life in the camps and the life they had before. I am a mother of five amazing Israelis, two who have served, one who is serving now in the army of Israel. I have sent two sons and a daughter to Poland to face the nightmare of walking into a gas chamber.

I am a Jew. I have stood in the gas chambers of Maidanek and Auschwitz; I have seen the ovens and the ashes. I have walked on the places where they were murdered; I have cried where some remain buried in mass graves.

I am an Israeli, forever aware that it is our job to be on watch; knowing that if the day should come, as it has too many times in the past, that the Jew in Europe will have to flee, we stand here in Israel ready to open our doors and more, ready to send our sons. We have flown into Yemen and Ethiopia, we have smuggled Jews out of Russia, Iran, Iraq…we will do the same in France and Germany and England, and even the United States if we have to.

That is who I am, that gives me the right to have my opinion. I wish the Germans well. But I have lived and will live with the Holocaust…and therefore, so will the Germans.

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: My Nakba

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Guest post by the amazing RM Bellerose (Ryan):

On Thursday, I will celebrate Israel’s 68th Independence Day – each one a hard-won victory, a never-ending triumph over enemies that have never wanted peace, are not willing to talk or compromise. In fact, our very existence in “their” neighborhood is a constant affront to too many of them. Not all, but still most.

On Thursday, as I celebrate with my family, too many Palestinians will be mourning the “Nakba.” The Arabic word can be translated as “disaster” or “catastrophe.” Nice, huh? Meanwhile, back at the farm, tens of thousands of Palestinians (including the family of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestine Liberation Organization Palestinian Authority) use our doctors and hospitals, our buses, our electricity, the roads we built, the schools we support, the universities we subsidize.

I am angered when I hear the word “Nakba” – if Israel did not exist, thousands of people around the world would not be here today because when a real disaster happened – in Haiti, in Kenya, in Nepal, in the United States, in Canada, in Turkey and so many other places, Israelis flew to save lives and lessen the catastrophe. No, on Thursday when the Palestinians mourn their ‘Nakba,” it is important to remember that the nakba is as imaginary and non-existent as the Palestine they claim to want. Neither exists and the world is better off for that.

I saw this post on Facebook by an amazing man that I have never met, at least not in person. He is a Native American. I grew up supporting the Native American cause, hating what the greedy white man did to the indigenous population of North America…and then, more recently, I heard about Ryan and began reading his thoughts. He is pushing Jews to realize our own great truth – that we too are an indigenous people fighting for our homeland.

With permission, I offer you Ryan’s “My Nakba” – which is so very much what I would have written if I had been smart enough to think of it.

My Nakba,

I want to tell you about my nakba. My invented, ridiculous, ignorant, regressive and cowardly Nakba.

My Nakba is the Arabs who stab little old ladies and 13 year old boys.

My Nakba is the Rabbis for human rights who act like dhimmis in the name of peace.

My Nakba is the woman who writes for the Times of Israel but spouts anti-Israel propaganda and she insults the victims of terror.

My Nakba is the children who stab other children hoping one day they too can kill a Jew.

My Nakba is an old woman who plants a seed of hate deep into her children knowing she might never see it grow but she plants it anyway because she has a granddaughter and she thinks that one day her granddaughter’s granddaughter might kill a Jew.

My Nakba is rolling fields, filled with garbage by Arabs who cannot be bothered to put it in bins. its empty half built homes built with euros skimmed from aid meant for the poor.

I thought about writing more, but honestly my b.s. tolerance is full,

So I am gonna tell you the truth about Israel:

Israel is not perfect, but it is the one place Ive been that actually strives for perfection.

Israel is filled with people who agonize over their morals even when it means that they end up harming their own cause but they wont change because they truly believe God is working through them to make the world better.

Israel is a beautiful place where people don’t stand in line but help mothers hold their crying babies while they search for change for the bus.

Israel is a crazy place where nobody ever learned how to park properly and if they did, they just don’t care.

Israel is a place where they expect you to be as tough and resilient as they are and they suffer no fools gladly.

Israel is a place where a guy wearing trendy clothes and carrying the most modern technology is speaking a 4 thousand year old language, and praying exactly as his great great great grandfather did.

Israel is a place where a woman is encouraged to speak her mind.

Israel is a place where I don’t feel out of place even though I am not Jewish.

I know some of you will laugh at the first part of this post especially after you watch a certain bloggers “speech” you may have missed the irony of the introduction to that speech, you may not have understood the subtle undermining behind the florid language, but now maybe you might.

 

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: Out Come the Flags…

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

On the houses, from the windows, on the cars, from the balconies. All over Israel, Israeli flags are flying. A few minutes ago, just 45 minutes before the beginning of Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for our fallen soldiers and those who lost their lives in terror attacks, I heard a drill going.

flag1

Slowly, the country is counting the minutes until the siren that begins a 24 hour period of intense mourning. We mourn this year for over 24,000 victims of this endless war waged against us. Soldiers and civilians, men and women, children, parents, wives and husbands, grandparents, infants.

Soon, the siren will sound. Already, the stories have begun to be told. Of Hadar Cohen, who was only 19 when terrorists attacked a border guard. Without hesitation, Hadar stepped forward and shot the terrorist and as she focused on taking her shot and saving her friend, another terrorist was focusing on her. Her parents have become part of the family of bereaved families.

And Ezra Schwartz, an American student who was visiting Israel and was shot in a terror attack. His mother has come to Israel to take part in the ceremonies and the national day of mourning.

And soldiers who died in the Yom Kippur war…tomorrow, David will stand beside the grave of one of these soldiers during the siren. I hurt for him, for what he will feel and for what the families feel.

The next 24 hours in Israel are among the hardest in Israel. We know that tomorrow night we will celebrate. We will smile and sing; we will watch the fireworks and celebrate our Independence Day.

But before we do, we will mourn with all our hearts. We will listen to the families tell us of their loss, of the amazing family members who live on in their hearts.

The neighbor was drilling, just 45 minutes before Memorial Day begins, so that he could hang a flag from his balcony.

flag3

It joins dozens of others on our blocks – on the houses, on the cars.

I won’t go to the ceremony this year. It is something I give to myself. I have a soldier in the army. I work hard to hold my tears back, to stop the endless worry for his safety.

All other years I go and I pay my tribute to those who have fallen. For these few years, I stay home. I stand and think of those we have lost during the siren, but I don’t go.

I will listen to the stories on live broadcasts and watch and learn.

Of those who fell in 1948, and those who fell in all the wars since. I will listen to the children – some of whom never knew their fathers.

And I will mourn and I will cry. But I will hold on to the knowledge that after tomorrow, another day will come.

But for now, in a few minutes, we will light the memorial candle in our house, we will listen to the siren, and we will remember them.

 

Israel flag half mast

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: London is Doomed

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Doomed…just doomed.

They went to the polls, as democracies will do…and…well, let’s just say that if what they chose reflects how they feel, every Jew in London should be buying a ticket out now.

Their choice was Sadiq Khan. And who is this man? Well, for those who believe terror is wrong, that hatred is not the right choice, here are some highlights of this man’s life:

  • He was a ‘legal consultant’ for  Zacarias Moussaoui, who pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to conspiring to murder US citizens  as part of the September 11 terror attacks. When we use the term “legal consultant” – that means Khan had a choice, and chose wrong.
  • Sadiq Khan also chose to represent Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, and a man well known for his hatred and extremism. Though, Farrakhan was banned from the United Kinddom for calling Judaism a‘gutter religion,” Khan still believed Farrakhan deserved his services.
  • Khan also shared a platform with terrorist Yasser al-Siri, who called for the corpses of American soldiers to be dragged through the streets.

Are you proud of this victory? Muslim extremists should be, peace loving human beings…not so much; Jews, not at all.

London has fallen…and not just the bridge…

Paula Stern

Defense Ministry to Demolish Amona, But Build Bigger Town Near Shiloh

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

The 40 families who live in the Samaria town of Amona have to find somewhere else to live by the end of this year; their town is to be demolished.

Although the town was built on land purchased — not stolen — from Arabs living in the Palestinian Authority, the deeds that prove the sale were not accepted as valid by Israel’s Supreme Court.

But officials remember the price paid over the court-ordered demolition of nine homes allegedly built on “privately owned Arab land” in 2006.

Hundreds of civilians were wounded in the clashes to defend the homes from the thousands of Israeli police and soldiers who came to destroy them. The vicious brutality of some of the security forces was caught on camera and a number of lawsuits followed; countless Israelis were permanently traumatized as well.

Media footage remains from that debacle.

This time, the Defense Ministry planned together with the Amana organization that built the town of Amona to create a new Samaria town in its stead, near the existent Jewish community of Shiloh.

If the state fulfills its promise, the new 139-home town will be built on state-owned property near the outpost of Geulat Tzion, a new community triple the size of that which they have been forced to leave.

Hana Levi Julian

10 Mortar Attacks in Two Days by Gaza Terrorists Betray Hamas Fears of Tunnel Discoveries [video]

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

For the third day in a row, Gaza terrorists continued to shell southern Israel on Thursday afternoon.

The tenth mortar attack in two days was fired at southern Israel at about 4:45 pm, again targeting the IDF soldiers as they operating along the security fence in southern Gaza.

No injuries were reported, and an IDF tank fired back in the direction of the mortar fire.

The ninth and tenth attacks came after the IDF announced the discovery of a second cross-border attack tunnel penetrating into Israel territory from Gaza.

“Moments ago mortar rounds were fired at forces during operational activity adjacent to the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip,” said the IDF Spokesperson in a statement.

“No injuries have been reported. An IDF tank responded and fired towards the threat.”

A Hamas terrorist involved in the terror organization’s tunnel network was also arrested in a combined IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operation, according to a brief statement late Thursday afternoon by the intelligence agency.

Hana Levi Julian

Offspring of Wehrmacht Soldiers Serving in IDF

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The Talmud relates (Gittin 57b, Sanhedrin 96b) that the grandchildren of Haman, the wicked high ranking Persian politician who planned the first “final solution” for the Jewish nation in the Megillah, studied Torah in B’nei B’rak. Golani Brigade Corp. Elad Tzair, 20, whose family immigrated to Israel from Germany and converted to Judaism, says Holocaust Day “has a very special meaning for me,” seeing as “both my parents’ grandparents fought in the German Army and here I am, their great-grandson, living in Israel and serving as a fighter in the IDF.”

Tzair, a resident of Migdal, on the shore of Lake Kinneret, is the firstborn of six grandchildren of the two German converts who arrived in Israel separately some 20 years ago. He attended religious schools and graduated from the yeshiva high school in Kfar Hasidim.

“My grandparents on both sides converted, as did my father and mother and the rest of my aunts and uncles, so that I was already born into a reality in which I was Jewish,” Tzair told Israeli media. “As far as I know, my parents’ grandparents were not in the SS, and did not partake in the annihilation of the Jewish people in the ghettos,” he continued, noting, “I also know that they did not agree ideologically with the ideas of the Nazi party. As a child, I was told that my paternal great-grandfather fought against the French army, was taken captive by the French and returned to Germany a few years later. My maternal great-grandfather fought against the Russian army. After they had their families, they used to come on visits to Israel. They were always lovers of Israel and I know, for instance, that after the Holocaust they donated money to Israel.”

Tzair says his personal experience of Holocaust Memorial Day has been steeped in personal pain, especially since some of his classmates were in the habit of calling him “the German” and would taunt him for the sins of his great grandparents (something which is strictly forbidden by Jewish law). He says his mother “explained that it’s not about us, and I understood.”

His enlistment in the IDF is, to his family, the closing of a circle. “When my family saw me in my uniform, it moved them very much. Every time I arrive in my uniform, my 82-year-old grandfather starts crying.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/offspring-of-wehrmacht-soldiers-serving-in-idf/2016/05/05/

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