Sunday, August 14, 2005

Crying Real Tears



My friend Todd has cousins who live in Netzer Hazani, the Gush Katif settlement shown above that is slated for "dismantlement" in a few days, along with all of the other Jewish yishuvim in Gaza. Todd's cousins' names are Stuart and Anita Toker. They are members of the original nine families that first moved in to Gush Katif back in the mid-70's, at the encouragement of the Israeli government.

I visited them several times during my 4.5 year jaunt in Israel. Their land, their home, their community, their farms, and their families were inspirational on too many levels to describe here. Suffice it to say, I saw vines of cherry tomatoes growing straight out of a hill made of nothing but fine white sand. Who the hell has ever even tried to accomplish something like that in the entire scope of agricultural history?

Anyway, here is an article in Haaretz about some of the people down there that I read out loud to my wife this evening, after we came back from 9th-of-Av services. It made me cry, and not for the first time, about what is happening with our people.



Above is Anita, who is quoted in the article (which is long, but well worth the read) giving the most unbelievable statement of emunah (faith):

"I have lived here for 29 years. And in every one of those 29 years, they came and told me that next year I would not be here. Every year they asked me, Anita, where will you go. And for all those 29 years I have replied to whoever has asked that with God's help, he will come here next year and ask me the same question. I am not blind. I know that this time it is different. It is closer. But look around. Everything is growing here. The settlement is alive. And I am a believing person. Every farmer is a believer. So last week I planted 10,000 celery seedlings. This week I will plant another 10,000. I still believe."

Some people will say, "That's not faith -- that's idiocy!" I can't rightly say I know what it is, but having met Anita, and having experienced Netzer Hazani personally, I hope that she is right.

The pain that I feel for the citizens of Gush Katif is heart-rending, but it is nothing compared to what they themselves are feeling right now. I am not one to get broken-up over political matters -- but, for some reason, this hits too close to home for me to keep silent and objective.

I have no solutions, no proposals for what the "correct" course of action should be for Israel to eliminate terrorism and live in safety and peace. I just know that this particular course of action feels devastatingly wrong to me. It's just a feeling. It's not a political viewpoint gleaned from reading all the papers or having an exhaustive knowledge of Middle-Eastern politics, or even from having served in the Israeli armed forces. It's just a feeling, and it could be wrong. But I don't think it is.

7 Comments:

At 11:53 AM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous youknowwho said...

The article made me cry, too -- and the whole situation is so incredibly saddening.

 
At 12:50 AM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous Laya said...

It's seriously so tragic. The part that is hitting me this morning is the fact that I only ever went down to gush katif once, and that will serve as my only time. It's not only that Jews will be forced to move, it's also that gaza becomes a strip in the world where Jews may never again set foot.

 
At 10:57 AM, August 15, 2005, Blogger Elayne said...

"The pain that I feel for the citizens of Gush Katif is heart-rending, but it is nothing compared to what they themselves are feeling right now." To say nothing of the pain felt by the Palestinians living there for generations whom they displaced.

 
At 6:17 PM, August 15, 2005, Blogger Chazarmaveth said...

according to most accounts, the yishuvim of Gush Katif were nothing but sand dunes before the Israelis started turning the land into livable farming communities, basically causing the desert to bloom out of nothingness. so let's not hyperbolize the whole "displaced palestinian" thing -- there was no one there before us; it was a sandy wasteland.

 
At 8:25 AM, August 16, 2005, Anonymous WanStu said...

On that note- i once kissed a girl named Sandy Westland on the beach near Gush Katif. But Chazzy- you make it sound like you were in the TzaHa"L...

 
At 8:36 AM, August 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Kfar Darom was legally bought by Jews years before 1948. In the War of Independence, the Jews were displaced, only to be able to reclaim it after the 6-Day War.

 
At 1:00 AM, August 18, 2005, Blogger ADAM said...

It is now time to shift our prayers from the heroic, brave and spiritually strong jews of Gaza to the most severe victims of this....

Ashkelon

Now that the terror practioners have control and Egyptian flow of weapons, even the framers of this trajicness realize the consequences of this turn of events.
Instead of 30,000 Israelis defending peacefull and productive intelligently run settlements, 60,000 plus may very well be needed to defend a much larger area that has many more more Israeli citizens. Most realize what will happen.....

This tragedy was brought to you by those who believe that living in Erets Yisroel is just like an engagement, not like Kidushin. An engagement is something that can be "disengaged." It was nice to have this "relationship" with the land. Maybe somebody upstairs is tired of shlepping around this planet with out a proper Marriage, like just "living together"....

 

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