Archive | March, 2008

Entering Adar Covered in Blood

7 Mar

As I begin to write this blog entry, only about two hours have passed here in Israel since two arab terrorists from East Jerusalem – Israeli citizens – entered into Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav in the midst of Jerusalem, opening fire on the eighty young men who had gathered with singing and dancing to celebrate the onset of the month of Adar II, the month in which we will soon celebrate Purim. At the time of my writing, reports waver between 7-8 murdered, and several more in serious condition.

The Mishnah in Tractate Taanit instructs us that upon entering into the month of Adar, we are to increase joy and happiness.

We have entered Adar, and that does not seem to be the case; however, what is very much like Adar is that we are once again experiencing what it feels like to live in an upside down world.

Random kassam and grad missiles are be launched at Israeli cities…we have more than our share of miraculous misses – and yet, the word out on the streets of the world is that these missiles are understandable for they are in retaliation for Israel’s targeted killings of Hamas terrorists.

Of course, it has been forgotten that the Hamas terrorists are being targeted by Israel because the have already been involved in terrorist activities and they must be stopped before they plan or get involved in carrying out more terrorism.

In the spirit of the month of Adar, and the holiday of Purim, vna’hafoch hu – everything is upside down. Israel is in the midst of an ongoing defensive battle. Israel does not randomly aim at and kill civilians – that’s what Hamas and others do to us…when Israel does, unfortunately, kill civilians, it is because they are in proximity of terrorists. Period.

And another thing, when Israel targets terrorists and unintentionally kills civilians, we send our apologies, and we all feel remorseful for the human costs associated with self-defense. Hamas, Hizbollah, Islamic-Jihad and all the others, on the other hand, set their sites on random civilian targets – like a yeshiva in the heart of Jerusalem – slaughter and butcher with the intent of killing as many as possible, expect to die as martyrs, and then, celebrate in the streets, cleverly handing out candy to children as a means of indoctrinating them from a very young age that their highest aspiration should be to one day blow themselves while taking as much Jewish blood as possible along with them!

The members of Amnesty International are the ones who should seek amnesty for the confusion they have caused the free world whose goals are to make the world a better place, despite the hatred, violence, and disregard for the value of human life that is hiding around every dark corner of the fanatical arab world.Who on earth do these members of Amnesty International think they are? Who gave them the mandate to close their eyes to our story, to demand that we stop killing terrorists whose only goal in life is to live long enough see the State of Israel come to and end!

How do we cope with the kind of butchering that was carried out Thursday night in Jerusalem? After we, the appreciative and humane citizens of Israel, grieve at the loss of life and the high price we must pay for preserving our rights to live in our homeland and to build a country that is dedicated to making the world a better place, we continue to live on, to celebrate the opportunity of another day, of the ever-present hope that tomorrow will be better.

I am sorry if I have said nothing new, but experience has taught me that when faced with setbacks, we must always re-align ourselves with the mission, and remind ourselves that we are still fighting the War of Independence.

Despite it all, I give thanks to God who has blessed me and my family with the merit of living here in Israel. I know that most of my fellow citizens feel the same way.

I have chosen to include a poem that I wrote six years ago, at the height of a period when we were experiencing day-to-day terrorism here in Israel. Unfortunately, its message is still relevant.

Shabbat shalom

A soldier, every one

It now appears that

the war has begun,

A soldier, every one,

The battle is raging, and no where is safe,

A soldier, every one.

Who fights the battles, who’s on the front lines?

Our fathers and brothers and sons.

But no, not just they,

Every citizen here is

A soldier, every one.

A saba and savta at the Pesach seder,

A soldier, every one.

A nine month old in her mother’s arms,

A soldier, every one.

Teens eating pizza, or at the cafe,

Our children, our daughters and sons,

And so it will be ‘til the battle is won,

A soldier, every one.

“Chamushim alu Bnei Yisrael,”

A soldier, every one,

Every man, every woman,

Every daughter and son,

A soldier, every one.

And God was with them,

Every battle they fought,

Until the fighting was done.

“Vaya’aminu ba’Hashem uv’Moshe avdo.”

A soldier, every one.


And here we are,

It’s been thousands of years, yet

A soldier, every one.

Some armed with guns, most just with hope,

A soldier, every one.

Brave heroes go off to school every day,

A soldier, every one,

Their mothers and fathers bid farewell at the door,

A soldier, every one.

A cup of coffee, a trip to the grocer,

A soldier, every one,

The daily routine is the way we do battle,

A soldier, every one.

Synagogue prayers amidst

Rifles and pistols,

A soldier, every one.

We are no longer citizens,

As we live, we do battle,

A soldier, every one.

And so, we Israelis,

Our lives on the line,

A soldier, every one.

We do this for you,

and for all our descendants,

A soldier, every one.

Preserving our home,

Our Eretz Yisrael,

The war is far from won.

Together we pray,

May we be the last, to be

Soldiers, every one.

© Rabbi Morey Schwartz, Hashmonaim Israel. March 2002