Not Only ?In Thy Blood, Live? - Part I

I am writing for you who are strong in faith. I am writing to all of you who demonstrate that terror will not deter the Jewish people and that <i>Am Yisroel Chai</i>. I am writing to you who have not left <i>Eretz Yisroel</i> in spite of the danger. You have experienced terror first hand on a daily basis and perhaps have even lost one or more family members, close friends, neighbors or colleagues.

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Writing on the wall: Death to Jews
Writing on the wall: Death to Jews
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In Thy Blood Live
I am writing for you who are strong in faith. I am writing to all of you who demonstrate that terror will not deter the Jewish people and that Am Yisroel Chai. I am writing to you who have not left Eretz Yisroel in spite of the danger. You have experienced terror first hand on a daily basis and perhaps have even lost one or more family members, close friends, neighbors or colleagues. Perhaps you yourself or others you know, have been a statistic, with mild, moderate or serious wounds, as a result of a terrorist act.

Your courage and fortitude has built and will continue to build the land.

Rabbi Goren delivered a speech before the Prime Minister and other governmental figures circa 1972, explaining why Remembrance Day was instituted on the day before Independence Day. It was reprinted on May 9, 2000 by Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio:

?In Thy Blood Live!
?If we wanted to define in a few words how Judaism and our Prophets saw the destiny of the People of Israel, we would simply quote from the words of Ezekiel (16:6) - words we recite at the Passover Seder, when we reach the pinnacle of our feeling of national freedom: "I saw you sprawling in your blood, and I said to you, ?In thy blood, live!?

?In thy blood, live! Our life sprouts from our sacrifices, from the blood, from the willingness to give of ourselves. The Jewish people has always been known as sanctifiers of G-d's Name. This commandment of, "I will be sanctified by the People of Israel before the eyes of many nations," was always our supreme commandment, the pinnacle of our upliftment.

?But for many generations, hundreds of years, we fulfilled this commandment with nothing sprouting forth from our blood, nothing to show for our sacrifices. We never merited to see the 'In thy blood, live!' part. We saw the blood, but not the life that was to have emanated from it. Today, however, we see both together - the "sprawling in the blood" and the "life". For this reason, Remembrance Day for the Fallen Soldiers was placed adjacent to Independence Day.?

I remember being invited to Miriam Levinger's house over 16 years ago, as she described how the Jewish Quarter of Hebron was established. Each growth spurt was a struggle. Permission for expansion of the Hebron Jewish community was consistently denied until a terror incident occurred. The terror attack then caused the resolve against the expansion of the Jewish community in Hebron to weaken. The Jewish community then seized the opportunity to expand. This has been the pattern over the past 16 years as well. It is an actualization of the verse "in thy blood, live."

After the recent terror attack in Hebron, when twelve of the heroes of Hebron were murdered, it was hoped that finally, Kiryat Arba and Hebron would become one neighborhood. This would be an actualization of the intention of the original settlers, among them Rabbi and Rabbanit Levinger, who came back to Hebron, which had been Judenrein since the 1929 Hebron riots, and stayed in the Park Hotel in Hebron proper for Pesach in 1968. Following that Pesach, the group was moved to an army base in Hebron, subsequently evicted and given permission to settle on a nearby hill now known as Kiryat Arba.

In 1999, David Wilder wrote in an article entitled ?Hebron-Past, Present and Forever?:

"It was just after Pesach, 20 years ago. Two women, both instrumental in the return to Hebron 11 years earlier, now living in Kiryat Arba, sat down to talk. They pondered how to return to the city of Hebron itself.... [W]hen a small group of Jews returned to Hebron in 1968, their aim was not the establishment of a new Hebron suburb; their goal was to renew the ancient Jewish community in Hebron.... Miriam Levinger later spoke to her husband, Rav Moshe Levinger, mentioning an idea that had been broached: maybe women and children would be able to accomplish what the men were, as of yet, unable to do: to move back into the abandoned Beit Hadassah building in the heart of Hebron.... On the eve of the new month of Iyar, at three o'clock in the morning, the [10] women, together with 40 children, made the five minute drive into downtown Hebron.... The women and children lived this way until a terrorist attack in early May of 1980, when six Jews were shot to death on a Friday night across the street from Beit Hadassah. Only then did the Israeli Government allow the men to join their families and officially sanctioned a permanent Jewish presence in Hebron."

Once again, this past month, the yearning for Hebron, expressed in a new neighborhood joining Hebron and Kiryat Arba, was courageously expressed by Rifka Buanish at the funeral of her husband, Ya'akov Buanish, hy"d, one of the heroes of Hebron, chief security officer for Kiryat Arba, and father of seven: "You planned, here with Dror, a promenade. We will fulfill your legacy, and we will establish here, not only a promenade, but also a large neighborhood, a neighborhood connecting Kiryat Arba and Hebron, for from Hebron the truth will emerge, from Hebron, the salvation for all of Am Yisrael.... May we be comforted in the building of Hebron." Rifka accepts G-d?s judgment and the painful sacrifice of her husband. She will be comforted when she sees that this tragic sacrifice bears fruit.

Rivka Duchan speaks to her dear husband, who was murdered in the same terror attack: "Stand and cry out to our Father in Heaven. May it be Thy will, G-d, our Father, and G-d of our fathers, that you will have mercy on us, on our children, and our infants, on the people in Zion and the holy land, on the sanctity of Am Yisrael, on the sanctity of the land, and for the entirety and security of the people and the land, especially during this time of great danger facing us in the holy land.... And we shall lift up our eyes in your return to Zion with mercy. Amen. May it by Thy will."

What unbelievable acts of sanctification of G-d's name. These acts of sanctification will have ripple effects in our generation and for generations to come. Fortunate are the children who are descendants of such parents. May Hashem, the father of orphans and widows, support, watch and protect all widows and orphans in the merit of these supreme acts of kiddush Hashem.

Rav Dov Begon, Rosh Yeshiva at Machon Meir in Jerusalem, in his discussion of the Fast of Teves, in the December 13, 2002, issue of the Jewish Press, writes, ?Through our recitation of the Kaddish, we publicly proclaim that, ?G-d's great name will be magnified and sanctified.? Despite all the suffering and destruction - public or private in nature - G-d's great name will be magnified and sanctified in the world, by means of the return to Zion and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple - may they be built soon, in our day.?

[Part 1 of 2]
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In Shmitta year 5747, Robin (Stern) Ticker, a single girl at the time, acted upon simple faith and attempted to understand and experience the Shmitta portions of the Torah, and she took a year Sabbatical, loaned out her money and attempted to live without really knowing where her food would be coming from. She can be reached at faigerayzel@aol.com.




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