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Gaza and Redemption

Gaza and Redemption

True justice will be brought with Jewish observance, Jewish study, Jewish tears, Jewish love.


Gaza will soon be empty of Jews. Whether the decision to render it so was wisdom or folly, whether it marked the beginning of a more stable Middle East or a more volatile one, whether it served to empower Palestinians considered moderate or to encourage those proven to be murderous, are questions now being addressed with passion. History will one day address them with hindsight.

But the human tragedy of the withdrawal is undeniable. Those of us who have never been compelled to leave our homes, the fields we planted and harvested, the synagogues in which we prayed and studied, the cemeteries in which our loved ones are buried, cannot claim to truly appreciate the agony of those who lived in Gaza, and now no longer do. Those displaced families, noble and loving of the land, deserve our deepest sympathy and concern.

Yet, despite it all, what no believing Jew may feel in the wake of the Gaza withdrawal is despair. Traumas like that of the past weeks should never be permitted to obscure a larger picture, the true one. It is a picture well framed by its timing.

Events in Gaza reached their crescendo and denouement at an appropriate season of the Jewish year: the mournful days leading up to Tisha B'Av, and then, that sorrowful day itself. Equally apt, though, was -- and is -- the assurance of Jewish tradition that, in the dark damp of Tisha B'Av's tragedy, the seeds of Jewish redemption quietly sprout.


August 20, 2005

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Visitor Comments: 21

(21) John Andrew Durler, August 30, 2005 12:00 AM

they did the right thing

The withdrawl, was the right thing to do. Israli people and government, I believe must wait for HAMAS TO STOP ITS

(20) Anonymous, August 28, 2005 12:00 AM

I absolutely loved this article. It brought tears, and yet comfort in a time when I have been so grieved over the Gaza situation. Thank you.

(19) Sandra.Hepner, August 27, 2005 12:00 AM

bless you

We come with nothing ,we leave behind our wordly goods and family, our land.. and go to God ..but while on Earth we can make an enormous contribution.. may God bless the departees from Gaza for their enormous contribution and sacrifice in the names of Peace and Progress.. may Ha Shem bless you for your contribution and lucid description of the evacuation... our heartfelt good wishes go with you all.. while on Earth may we all seek God's guidance and direction...

(18) Mikhael, August 26, 2005 12:00 AM

Rabbi still teaching slave mentality we had in Egypt

After we went out of Mitzraim with a high hand and with song, and after we received the Torah... it still took us 40 years to get the "slave mentality" out of our minds so that we could enter Yisrael. Even then we could not seem to follow the commandment to remove all the goyyim. So, eventually we failed and were removed. The above article faithfully teaches this continuing failure mentality to observant Jews... With teachings like the above -- we will NEVER inherit the land. We'll be gone again into oblivion.
As for me, I will not hug corrupt officials and crooked police: or even IDF soldiers coming to remove me from the West Bank. I will never believe Hashem meant for us to be that "meek". No, I'll hug the observant youth of Israel who will (hopefully) one day deal with the filth we have for a government.

(17) Lenard Israelstam, August 26, 2005 12:00 AM

Gaza Redemption - by Rabbi Avi Shafran

While the article by Rabbi Avi Shafran,
was descriptive and relevant, the following statement in his text is puzzling to me: "....... its rightful residents will return one day".

It would seem to "promise" that there will be a return to Gaza of a strong Jewish community. Without disputing the "rights" of the Jewish people to their ancestral land, there are 1 1/4 million Palestinians living in Gaza. Do we wish that we join them in Gaza under some democratic means of government, or do we intend to expel them or destroy them or dominate them under some non-democratic form of regime??

Perhaps the timing of our disengagement was erred. Surely it could have been better planned. It is sad that some of the ardent opponents of the disengagement amongst prominent members of our Knesset as well as some of our Rabbi's, focused entirely on voicing their opposition and scarcely, if at all, on the means of making the disengagement less painful to our people of Gaza who were so abruptly uprooted - did they even care about the people, or only about their “cause” or their “careers”?

Does the Rabbi believe that a return of our people to Gaza is just a right that we have or does he believe that it is an obligation that we must fulfill?

If the former, then is it against our religious learning and belief to forego such right - no matter what? If it be the latter - then I am even more puzzled.

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