October 8, 2008
1. This past Shabbat Itamar celebrated a very special Brit! Eliyhu and Rinana Miller had their first son. Both Eliyahu and Rinana are children that lost their fathers in terror attacks. Eliahu’s father Shlomo Miller(see link) was head of Itamar security and was killed when a terrorist entered our community. Rinnana’s father Gilad(see link) was the head of security of the Shomron regional council and was ambushed on a road near by Itamar. Rinnana’s grandfather, the famous – Moshe Zar who set up Chavat Gilad as a response to the murder of his son, told me that he feels that with every new grandchild or great grandchild born he feels is the true meaning of G-D avenging the death of the righteous. We wish this special family happiness, success and great blessings!
2. Mazal Tov to Tal and Menashe Kushner on the birth of their second daughter this week.
3. A very special site on Itamar is participating in the morning selichot in our Shul. Our young children get up every moring at 5:15 AM in order to join in with the adults saying Selichot. Enjoy the pictures of Itamar children saying Slichot Erev Yom Kippur.
4. Leah Goldsmith’s emergancy letter
Dear Readers, (for Yom Kippur- 2008)
I had something else in mind to say before wishing you all a g’mar chatimah tova. Unfortunately, circumstances have pushed me to talk to you about a more pertinent matter that weighs on me not because it is a personal one but in fact in rests on the shoulders of our Rabbis (I believe) and you, as shlichim listening to my story today.
We are a day before Yom Kippur. What does that mean to all of us? Probably pretty profound. I was recently thinking about how content I feel lately in looking back retrospectively on how many obstacles we have overcome on a personal and national level, how we are blessed with constant awe and love for Israel no matter what (seeming) impassible barriers face us and most of all being part of our glorious heritage and being a participant in the redemption process unfolding before our very eyes.
As I was basking in this innocent feeling the telephone rang. It was the third call like this one in 2 days. Reporters. “Hello, I am calling from the Chech newspaper”, said a man in a gruff voice. He continued, “We are here in the Arab village of Awarta right below your community with a forum of “Rabbis for Human Rights”. I would like you, Mrs. Goldsmith to give your perspective on settler violence before I close up this article.” Of course my reaction was a heart thumping, blood boiling primal scream. “What the h—!” I wanted to scream. Instead I gave him my sweetest, creamiest, most adorable voice and tried to explain. “Hello, nice to meet you, what settler violence?” “The army, you know is here at the barricade in order to protect Arabs from violent settlers, he said.” I think you may have your facts a little mixed up. It’s WE who have been murdered by them… I have a son in the army”, I answered. “My husband has always been in the army and all settlers do the army.” was my answer.(As a matter of fact my son did not even get off for Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur because of the alert in the north). “Do you negate the fact that these are Rabbis then, Mrs. Goldsmith? (about the Rabbis for Human Rights). “I have never had the opportunity to meet them because they never came up to Itamar to offer their condolences to the 15 families of widows and orphans.” He was stumped at that one too. “I invite you to surf our web site.” I said. But, Mrs.Goldsmith!” he persisited,” this IS Palestinian land- you can’t negate that can you?”. I went on to explain that there have been many replacement theologies, historical and geographical as well about the Jewish people. Not just their land that had been “taken from under the rug” but also the “chosen people” concept as well.
I explained that while most of the world lived in complete darkness, the light of the Torah has shone for thousands of years. If law and order came to the world, it was through the Jewish people. I asked him to be very cautious in presenting FACTS. I told him he was the “shofar” and the responsibility of what he said rested directly on his shoulders.
An idiom I learned from a cookbook can best describe our predicament – “You cannot keep trouble from coming but you need’nt give it a chair to sit on!”
He didn’t bother me as much as the thought that while I take my peaceful nature walks and look into the direction of these villages the bizarre reality of “rabbis for human rights” are there to only provoke the Jewish people that live here. It’s not enough that we have to protect our windows because of the stones they throw at us, not to mention the every day threat posed to us because of Arab violence. But now, before Yom Kippur I have to be harassed by a bunch of Rabbis for human rights that take the media into the lion’s den and throw us into the pit. (the story of Yosef Hatzaddik all over again!).
So, I had an idea. (Now we’re coming to the Rabbis.) If such a group can exist , I think it should be on the consciences of our Rabbis to form a new group I would like to consider calling it “Rabbis for Jewish rights.” They can start with taking care of the desecration of sacred Jewish sites in Arab villages. They can take their groups to communities in Yehudah and Shomron to show solidarity. Many of them do anyway, so lets call it” Rabbis for Jewish rights!” Let’s make a statement. If people living in the Diaspora cannot make aliyah just yet, we need them from where they are for support, and especially THEIR RABBIS.
Our roots began to grow in this Land at the time of creation. Here, our Patriarchs and Matriarchs discovered Hashem. The Jewish people were given the job of revealing G-dliness in the world. There is a place specifically chosen for this to happen, the Land of Israel. Only this can bring real SHALOM. (and not a made up clichי not based on truth) When the whole world knows this, then we can know that we are in the messianic age. When distortions are created, be it by the media, or rabbis for human rights, it has the opposite effect as when we perform a mitzvah. Forces of evil emerge. This causes a devastating damaging outcome. On a personal level I never like to do something in response to something, – but I do for the sake of the act itself (like making aliyah not because Hitler is kicking me out of the country). In this case -(Rabbis for human rights)- I feel an immediate response from our fellow Rabbis is pertinent. Any thoughts or actions on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Friends, may we hear Be’sorot tovot yeshuot ve’nechamot. I would appreciate a response to this letter. Shana Tova Chatima Tova, Leah Goldsmith