Friday, August 04, 2006

Gush Katif remembered -- 1st anniversary of the exile

I begin to write this on the Afternoon of Tisha B’Av, using verses from the Bible to back me up, as I often do, and the verses I use are all somehow permitted on Tisha B’Av. My away message on the 10th of Av last year, the day that the expulsions began in Gush Katif was
"נחלתנו נהפכה לזרים בתינו לנכרים", "our land-inheritance was turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners". This comes from the book of Lamentations 5:2, which we chanted last night. This is Tisha B’Av all over again. “שפכי כמים לבך נכח פני א-דני”, as Jacob Taber’s away message read today, “‘pour out your heart like water before the face of the lord’ eicha 2:19”. The wailing that we do for certain things is so much stronger when it is recent. For most Jews, I would say that Yom HaShoah V’Hag’vurah, Holocaust Memorial Day is more meaningful and powerful than Tisha B’Av. I’m not going to look the following up because of a combination of tiredness from the fast and the fact that I technically cannot look things up yet, but, somewhere in the Talmud, either in BT Ketubot or Yevamot (because I remember it was with Professor Judith Hauptman that I studied this quote and the courses I took with her featured these mesachtot) there is a story (duh…). This particular story features a Jew jogging with a Gentile. The Gentile cannot seem to keep up with a Jew, so he yells out “hey, Jew, your Temple has been destroyed”. The Jew slows down lets out a great sigh then and keeps going. When they got to their destination and the Gentile finally caught up, he asked why the Jew hadn’t stopped and broken down. Though, as a Talmudic-era aphorism states, a sigh breaks down half the human body (or something like that), however, as the Jew said, this only applies to fresh bad news. Old news won’t have the same effect. I wasn’t alive during the Destruction of the Temples, nor was I alive during the Holocaust. Because I have family members and friends who either died or survived the latter, I have a close personal connection to the Shoah. One of the most touching and emotional moments in my life, therefore, was when I was walking to the Ministry of the Interior in Jerusalem on Yom HaShoah and the sirens went off. The only sounds were the wails of the air-raid sirens and the wails of everyone standing at attention.

Last year on 17 Tammuz, the Rosh Tefillah at Ramah Poconos was addressing the members of what I dubbed the Break-Fast Club (see my Dvar Torah on Tisha B’Av after mincha as we were waiting for three stars so we could do Maariv and then break the fast. He was telling us about when he was a camper and his counselors woke his bunk up at three in the morning one time and told the kids that Jerusalem and Tel Aviv had been bombed and they destroyed the Western Wall and that the Israeli Army had been defeated. The campers reactions, obviously, were insane amounts of crying and various other emotions that are unable to be held back by even the most held-back individuals. This turned out to be an effective peulah, though slightly twisted, to help the kids understand what it would have been like to be someone with Ezekiel in Babylonia when they heard that Jerusalem had been destroyed and its remnant was on their way to join them in Bavel. In comparison, you never see campers crying on Tisha B’Av over the destruction of the Temples, referred to as the lowest and saddest event in Jewish history (though persecution of the Jews has grown much worse since that point in 70 CE when most of the Jews were exiled from the land and the Diaspora experience of the Jews might stand to be an even lower and sadder experience, particularly the Crusades and the Holocaust).

And so, the tragedy of the Disengagement from Gush Katif is the fresh wound. It is our Tisha B’Av and on the lists of catastrophes that befell the Jewish people on the saddest day of the year, we now have yet another event to add, another exile on the anniversary of numerous other exiles (besides the two from Israel we were expelled from England (1290) and Spain (1492), as well as all of the other atrocities which we experienced in this single saddest day ever. There could have been no more appropriate a day than Tisha B’Av, therefore, to write this. I include various videos that are also appropriate to watch on Tisha B’Av and moved me to tears.

Hitnakut, singing girls N'vei Dekalim

this one moved me to tears when it's homograph (sorry, that's a word I probably haven't used since we had it on a spelling test in First Grade) occurred, when they tear their clothing. I am heart-broken to this day.

Nafshi - Clip about Gush Katif Explusion

A the end of the video (about 3:45 into it) you see people carrying off a giant menorah, an adornment of their synagogue. I immediately thought of the relief from the Arch of Titus which showed the Romans carrying off the Golden Menorah along with other Temple vessels when they sacked Jerusalem. I include pictures of both at the top of the entry. Also, is anyone disturbed by the colorful teddy bear hanging from a noose?

Cohen Family Explusion

More personal, this is the expulsion of a family from their home.

Anti-disengagement from Gush-Katif video

All of these soldiers refuse to evict fellow Jews. This video also features the destruction of the Tomb of Joseph -- Joseph Joseph -- in 2000 (4 minutes into this video. It was at this point, where they destroyed one of the holiest sites in Judaism, after carrying his bones back with us from Egypt where they were for hundreds of years and carrying them through the desert for forty years to bury him in the land of Canaan, fulfilling a promise we made to him found at the end of the Book of Genesis, and now after 3,500 years they destroyed his grave and his bones which we carried near the Ark of the Covenant, that I realized there could never be peace, they didn't care about us nor our religion. Other videos on YouTube show them finding "creative" ways to get rid of our Synagogues in Gush Katif once they took over, such as burning them down or blowing them up.

No comments: