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      The Tamar Yonah Show
      by Tamar Yonah
      A biting & sometimes humorous analysis of current events, Israeli politics & the Jewish World.
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      Tamar Yonah is one of Israel's most popular English-speaking radio show hosts. She made Aliyah from Southern California and after serving in the Israeli army began a prolific career in radio, including production, news and program development. She was the original creator and producer of 'The Aliyah Show' and still works whenever she can in that field. Tamar is a political activist, wife and mother residing in Judea and Samaria and currently hosts the top-rated shows of The Weekend Edition & The Tamar Yonah Show. Her award winning blog covers current events, religion, politics and anything else that's on her mind.

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      Av 24, 5767, 8/8/2007

      I Had A Dream

      by Tamar Yonah

      I see by the emails I have received and some of the talk backs below, that I have depressed some people, making them feel utterly hopeless, and defeated, and against making aliyah.

      People are writing me that the government of Israel is a Nazi government, that they are all evil, and that they feel impotent to do anything about it. They then make comments to the tune of, "Make a military coup", or "Why don't you guys play by the same rules they do and FIGHT?".
      []
      Photo from the AP.

      It is true that the government has an army and police force at it's disposal.  It is true that they are better organized to rally up thousands of forces with full battle gear and bring them to anywhere in Israel they want, to enforce their political agendas.  So how are we to fight them if we Jews who are  faithful to Torah and the Land of Israel, don't allow ourselves to act by the same rules?  While the State's forces go in to intimidate, scare, crack heads, expell and arrest protestors, we go in playing by defensive tactic rules.  We don't use guns, we don't use knives, we have no intent to kill, we have no battle gear, we sing songs and lock arms, and struggle wildly when being jerked away and pulled out of our G-d given land.  Perhaps, some will throw eggs, oil and flour on the police and soldiers, as if they wanted to make a cake, but we don't play by the same rules.  Whether one believes in this type of non-violent resistance, or not, is another matter, and one too serious for me to write in a blog without deep discussion first with a rabbi well learned in Torah, and with a particular and deep love for the Land of Israel.  -And even if one believed in using violence against our police and security forces, these protestors aren't equipped with what the IDF has at it's disposal.

      Therefore, looking at what IS, and not what some people think we SHOULD be doing to make the fight in the ring more exciting for the onlookers and arm-chair critics, what is the proper thing to do?

      Looking through the Tanach (the Bible) we read about many times in Israel when we had Jewish kings who threw their lot in with the world, feared other kings more than they feared G-d, made pacts with other kingdoms, and even embraced idol worshipping like our neighboring countries did.


      I remember a specific story involving one King Menasseh (Menashe).  He became the king of Judah, and embraced worldly trends at that time.  He became an idol worshipper, worshipping 'baal', he preformed necromancy, he walked his son through the fire, and he erected and installed idols in the Holy Temple.  He also killed a lot of innocent Jews.

      Kings II 21:16 Menasseh shed very much innocent blood, until he filled Jerusalem [from] end to end [with it]; aside from causing (the people of) Judah to sin, to do what was evil in the eyes of Hashem (the Lord). 

      According to the Radak (Rabbi David Kimchi who lived in southern France 1160-1235), "Menasseh had systematically destroyed all the Torah scrolls and alienated the nation so thoroughly from the Torah, that the people were completely unfamiliar with its contents.  Sixty seven years had elapsed since the beginning of Manasseh's reign..."

      Therefore, the Jews in Judah were without, and alienated from, our Holy Torah for approximately three generations. Some Torah scrolls might have been hidden away and studied in secret, but the general population had no means to learn it. It was not until a later king, (Menasseh's grandson) King Josiah (King Yoshiahu) decided to renovate the Temple, that a Torah scroll was found hidden away in the Temple.  When the scroll was read to him, King Josiah rent his garments, inquired of what G-d wanted from him, and then sealed a covenant with Him, to follow Hashem, and to observe his commandments.

      Well, we see here, that we have lived through worse times than we do today. And still, there are those who reject the idea of coming to Israel on Aliyah.
      I am living the dream that our ancestors prayed for every day


      So,,,,  should Jews who were living at the time of King Menashe's reign have abandoned Israel, or any other of our kings who embraced the fad religions of the world, and said, "I am not going to live in that corrupt country, with a king who has innocent people slain, destroys our holy Torah scrolls, worships idols and even places them in G-d's Holy Temple."?  No, the Jewish People stayed, and built, and dwelled, and had children there, and continued their lives there, in the home that G-d gave us.   - By the way, King Menasseh, that evil king, finally made tshuva (repented) and removed the idols from Jerusalem, brought peace and thanksgiving offerings to Hashem, and commanded the [people] of Judah to worship Hashem, the G-d of Israel. 

      I know Jews have killed Jews in our past, reading the Tanach will show you this, but this part of our history always bothered me. I know that I don't want to be responsible for taking the life of any of our soldiers or police, - any Jew.  Everyone who lives in Israel is so interconnected.  A soldier could be the son of a co-worker, someone from a  neighboring community, or even a distant cousin who lives in Tel Aviv or Haifa.  Couldn't you also imagine the Hamas, Fatah and all our Arab enemies dancing in the streets, handing out candy, and singing praises to allah if they would see news footage of Jews killing Jews?

      And so, what do we do?  How do we protect the Land of Israel and G-d's Torah?

      Demonstrations have not stopped the continuing Oslo peace process or our politicians and their desires to meld with the world, and throw off Jewish values.  So, we pray, we go to TRY to stop expulsions, some people added on special mitzvoth to do, we just try harder and improve our faith in G-d.

      About 2 years ago, the rabbi of our yishuv died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  A little before he died, in the last stages of his disease, he looked pale and colorless.  He was thin like a skeleton and laid horizontally in a hospital bed in his living room,  with a breathing tube in his throat.  He was completely incapacitated, and could not communicate.  A little before he died, I had a dream with him in it..   In my dream, I was standing  in his living room, and he was standing in front of me as well.  He looked like he used to. Well fed, healthy, dark beard and hair, in a suit and tie- not like he looked in real life anymore.  I was asking him in the dream, "Rav (rabbi), what should we be doing about the situation [in Israel]?  Should we be going to even more demonstrations, should we go and possibly get arrested, what should we do?  What can we do?
      He looked at me, and I am crying now as I write these words...  he looked at me and said to me by some type of communication, because I can't remember if it was in Hebrew or in English...  he looked at me and said something to the effect of, "Just continue."

      I woke up from that dream, and tried to understand the meaning of it.  I think he was trying to tell me, 'just continue what you are doing'.  Just the fact that I am living in YESHA, raising a family here, taking up space living in the Land, planting a garden, and thriving here with my husband and children, just THAT FACT is already doing something.  Should we go to demonstrations?  Yes. Perhaps the government will not care, but I believe that G-d hears our cries, and gathering together in prayer and supplication and unity, is a positive thing. Should we continue to pray and add more good deeds in our lives?  Yes. We show Hashem that we are taking more upon ourselves to try to weigh the heavenly scales in our favor. 

      Living in Israel, with the righteous Jews as neighbors and friends, with bringing life back to this Land that has sat empty and barren for 2,000 years, and see flowers and trees and grass now, in its place...  well, there is nothing more beautiful to me.  I am living the dream that our ancestors prayed for every day, and after the Passover (Pesach) Seder, 'Next Year in Jerusalem'.  I am the fortunate one.  I am the one who doesn't have to live under a foreign entity, no matter how materialistically comfortable it is.  It is not my home.

       

      Israel is my home, and even with the bickering and ideological differences in our Jewish society, I know that if G-d forbid a war were to occur here in Israel, all the barriers and differences would melt in a second.  Tzahal (the IDF) would be all our boys, and the People of Israel would come together.  It happened last year during the 2nd Lebanon war, as it happens for every war. Secular Jewish men from Tel Aviv fight and even die to protect Israel, as do religious men, side by side. Because after one peels off the exterior layers, we are all one. All brothers and sisters. 

      To Jews here in Israel, "Just continue".  To our brothers and sisters still residing in the Exile, come home and join us.  Read the Tanach, see the promises G-d promised us, be His partner, and help pave the way to a better world. Because in the end, it will be G-d's rules that will be obeyed, and not man's.



      Av 22, 5767, 8/6/2007

      The De-Judaization of Israel

      by Tamar Yonah

      Is it the need to be loved, the desire for acceptance, or the personal greed for power and big bank accounts that is steering this country into the depths of the abyss?
       
      The leaders in our government are steadily steering Israel off course of being a Jewish State.


      How can it be that our Prime Minister:

      • Frees convicted terrorists - not to free our soldier who is still kidnapped, but to boost the status and build up of  Mahmoud Abbas, a holocaust denier and the head of a terror organization? 
      • Transfers guns and bullets to the terrorists
      • Wants to uproot almost a quarter of a million Jews out of their homes in Judea and Samaria.
      • Wants to 'converge' and make Israel's borders smaller and less defensible.
      • Allow the immigration into Judea and Samaria of 41 Iraqi arabs claiming to be Palestinian refugees  
      • Destroys Jewish settlements and outposts (Amona, etc.)
       
      How can it be that our Government Ministers seem to want to castrate the IDF and bring in foreign troops to patrol our borders and keep the peace?  Isn't one of the reasons we established the Modern State of Israel, so that we would have our own army, and never ever have to rely on the nations of the world to protect us again?
       
      • Avigdor Liberman wants to bring in international forces to secure and stabilize Gaza.
      • Chaim Ramon wants to bring in NATO to protect Israel
      • Tzippi Livni?s Foreign Ministry wants to install international forces in the south. 
                   Call for Nato Troops (Lieberman with Rice)
        Whatever happened to using our own military and depending on our own army? Why have we given our security over to nations that have no love or allegiance to Israel?

        Shimon Peres wants to uproot the Jews of Judea and Samaria and turn it over to Arab terrorists.  How will he do it when the residents of YESHA are some of the most motivated and idealistic jews in Israel? He knows they will most likely not accept reparations from the Israeli government to do so, just as the families of Gush katif attempted to stay on their land.  Peres was quoted as saying in an interview in 1995 when he was the Foreign Minister, 'I have no problem with what will happen in Yesha. We will withdraw the army and then let's see what happens. They (the Jews) will either run away immediately, or the Arabs will massacre some, and then we'll see what happens.'  

      Is this a representative of the People? A man who seems not to have a  problem that families in YESHA get massacred in their communities?    ...This is our president today.

      And now we have the African Moslem refugees from the Sudan region of Darfur, being absorbed into Israel.  4,000 refugees have been taken in, and they are growing at a rate of 300 more every week, or 1,200 every month. According to someone I visit in the Ashkelon prison, the inmate says that darfur refugees are being brought to the prison, housed, fed, and then shipped out to kibbutzim  to be absorbed into Israeli society, eventually to be given Israeli citizenship.  (How many more votes does this mean for the Left?) I cannot verify his information, but I do know they were being brought to the prison there, and the guards let me bring in English teaching books for the refugees, as they had a problem communicating because of the language barrier. 
       
      My heart goes out to these people who are running from a violent area that some say is a genocide against them, but is there no place on the whole African continent that can absorb them better?  A place where they share a similar African culture, or a place where they share the same religion and feel more at home?  Why aren't the EU and the rest of the richer Western Nations pumping money into the welfare of these refugees?  Why aren't they helping other African entities to absorb these people? Instead, they pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the corrupt Palestinian Authority. 

      Our leaders can't find money to re-settle our own refugees from Gush Katif. They are still rotting in make shift trailer homes. Our own Holocaust survivors have to march in protest,  because they can't even afford their medicines that they need in their old age, and our leaders can't seem to find the funding for them.  But we have the means to absorb 300 Sudanese Moslems every week? None of these Sudanese refugees are Jewish, and none of these people want to become Jews.

      Why is israel absorbing Moslems, when Egypt and much of the African continent is Moslem? The Moslems hate Israel.  They have no interest in Israel remaining a Jewish State.  In fact, it would be the opposite case, that they would vote for Israel losing it's status as a Jewish State, and instead see it become a state of its citizens.
       
      Is Israel being watered down of its Jewishness?  Is the government doing this on purpose?
      Is this just another brick in the wall to attempt to make way for Israel to join the EU and to de-Judaize Israel so she will fit in with the International Community's Global vision?


      A very strange article was written about the Moslems from Darfur, with one of it's Sudanese officials claiming that the refugees are being encouraged already back in the Sudan to come to Israel.  It's hard to believe, and I myself find it difficult to absorb.  However, I shall  provide links to show that perhaps indeed, there is a sinister attempt to de-judaize the character and make up of  Israel. 
      See article about:  Moslem African Sudanese absorbtion into Israel.  
      See:  Non-Jewish Russians absorbtion into Israel.
      See:  Russian tourists to enter Israel now without visas
      See: Olmert's bringing in of  'Palestinian Arab refugees' from Iraq, to Israel.
       
      The entry of these groups into Israel who are not Jewish and do not have an interest in seeing Israel as a Jewish State, being encouraged to come to Israel, while the Jewish Agency breaks ties with Nefesh B'nefesh because they are bringing too many 'religious' Jews to Israel on aliyah, should raise eyebrows.  Additional news headlines imply pressure on the JNF to forfeit Jewish land bought with Jewish money from 'pushkas', (Jewish charity boxes) to the Arab enemy. 
       
      Ramon and Liberman want to bring in NATO troops, Olmert wants to bring in Jordanian and Egyptian troops. 
      Are we are witnessing a concentrated erosion of Jewish presence and values in Israel.  Are we witnessing a pull to make Israel into a state just like any other state? If indeed this is the case, what would be the motives of our leadership to bring on such a situation?
       
      Is this just another brick in the wall to attempt to  make way for Israel to join the EU and to de-Judaize Israel so she will fit in with the International Community's Global vision? 
      Please click on these links, it will show you the news articles written on the interest to bring Israel under the EU, and Israel's leadership who are more than willing to do so. For some of our leaders, it would be a  dream come true.
       
      It all comes down to 'following the money trail' and that leads us to international trade, treaties, deals, free trade areas, casinos, and lots of money to be made if the right people jump to get the monopoly on the right contracts.
       
      Guess who was Israel's 'Minister of Trade' before he became Prime Minister?  Ehud Olmert.  
       
      Trade leads us to common trade laws and trade blocks, which leads us to entering into treaties with (perhaps) the EU, which leads to Israel conforming to EU standards. 

      So,  what IF Israel has to give up her Jewish identity in order to fit in and assimilate? Give up land, feed it to the oil rich Arab kingdoms,  kick out and destroy the religious Zionist settler movement, besmirch and demonize the Haredim and all the other Torah observant Jews, and make Israel a secular 'state of her citizens'. Do away with Israel's law of Return for Jews, do away with anything Jewish pertaining to Israel. Relegate it to small pockets that are weak and nostalgic.  After all, we all know there is NO room for Jewish values and Jewish identity in the EU, or in a world that despises G-d and His laws.



      Av 21, 5767, 8/5/2007

      If G-d Controls Everything In This World....

      by Tamar Yonah


      If G-d Controls Everything In This World....  Do these pictures side by side seen on the front page of the Jerusalem Post speak for themselves?

      Jerusalem Post Front page, Friday Aug. 3, 2007
      Jerusalem Post
       

      "U.S. Push for Statehood" ... "Mayhem On The Mississippi"
      Do the leaders of America bring disaster upon the innocents of America, as they brings disater upon the innocents of Israel?
      Are we allowed to put two and two together, or is this audacious and disgusting for us to do such a thing?
      Note: Rabbi Lazer Brody from www.LazerBrody.net of the LazerBeams Blog mentioned on my Sunday Show that Condoleezza Rice wants to separate the 'West Bank' (her term for Judea & Samaria)  from Israel, so perhaps Hashem, G-d, is showing her that he can easily separate the 'West Bank' of the Mississippi from the 'East Bank'. - Not a punishment, but perhaps a lesson to learn?
       
      I also had a guest on my show named Bill Koenig. He wrote a book called, Eye to Eye - Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel, in which he documents measure for measure the acts of the USA's pressure on Israel to give up her G-d given land to terrorists, and the natural disasters and catastrophies that plagued America approximately the same time they pressured Israel.  What are your comments?  I'm Interested in what you think.  
       


      Av 18, 5767, 8/2/2007

      One Can't Know, Till They've Been There

      by Tamar Yonah

      Maybe it was because I was standing on the mountain top.  Maybe it was the addition of the quiet, with just the wind blowing and a soft flapping of tattered Israeli flags waving in the background that struck me .  But the scars were there, and they were not healing. Amona.  I went to Amona today.

      I don't know. It is so surreal. I SAW it on the news, I SAW it on YouTube, I SAW it in photographs, but it pales in comparison to real life.   I wasn't planning on going to Amona today.  You see, my daughter was taking a course in Ofra, for her national service that she will be volunteering for the next year or two.  I went with one of my other kids and my niece to visit her in Ofra, and get some pizza.  Ofra is about a 30 minute drive north of Jerusalem.  While we were there, we still had some time before her next class started.  I saw Amona up on the neighboring hill, high, high up. I had this hunger to go and see it.  You see, I wasn't there when my son and other  brave 'orange youth' were, trying to stop the bulldozing down of 9 Jewish houses.  They say that Olmert wanted to make his mark, to show that he was strong and tough like Ariel Sharon.  So he was uncompromising, and demanded that these Jewish homes, on a bare hill top uninhabited for 2,000 years, until these last few years, be mowed down.  The police came by the hundreds, swarming in.  They came down in full battle gear with fierce brutality on our kids, adults, and even Members of Knesset. They bashed heads open with clubs, trampling some with their mighty horses. See this video: Amona Doc.

      Well, these are the photos that i took while up there today.

      The entrance to Amona.  A boulder with the Hebrew letters in black.  A bus stop is nearby, showing that the main bus comapny Egged recognizes this place and gives service to it.

      What surprised me is the fact that there was so much life up there.  When you first drive in, it is just FILLED with trailer homes and families.  That surprised me, as I didn't expect all the 'life' there, after the demolition.  These families are true pioneers, and what I love about them, is that they have VISION, they see the future, and they are tough enough to withstand the present. 

      Standing up on the top of the mountain of Amona, I showed my kids how important it was that we have this area.  A 360 degree periphery of the surrounding area is seen from there.  The communtiy of Ofra, the Tel Aviv area, and all of the surrounding Jewish communities.  If the arabs sat up here, it could be a launching pad for terrorists to aim rockets down on our homes, schools and roads, where families are traveling. 

      Above Photo: Temporary caravans (trailer homes) of Amona's residents.

      The community of Ofra with hundreds of families, schools, high schools and roads.  All targets and within shooting and rocket range.

      Graffiti which states, "I came to this land to build" and "Olmert is following (or continues) Sharon".

      What is important to notice in this photo above, which is not seen well, unfortunately, is the upper right homes on the neighboring mountain.  Those are Arab homes. I thought to myself, the Arabs, --they can build, and live there.  But not the Jews. 

      What is important here, is that the Jews had almost all the permits and legal work finished on their homes they built in Amona.  They only did not receive the final signature from the defense minister.  A signature.  ...A lousy signature.

      These homes (above) were the new (9) homes built by the 'Orange People' - residents of Amona.  They had the permits...  the electric company came and supplied lines, and other infrastructure was put in.  They say that Peace Now made trouble, and now -- there is no more. Who funds Peace Now? Is it from FOREIGN outside groups? If so, is this not infiltration and sabotage into Israel domestic matters by the enemies of the Land of  Israel?

       Driving along the road, the destruction is seen.

      I wasn't prepared for it.  Yes, I saw it on the news.  Yes, my son described it to me.  Yes, I saw it in photos, and on youtube.  ...One can't know, till they've been there. I got out of my car.  I couldn't help it, I started to curse.  I admit it.  It just came out...  "Da--n Olmert!  Da--n, da--n, da--n".  I was overtaken by the devastation.  And you know what?  You reading this piece will probably say, "Seen it before Tamar, what's the big deal?"  But I am telling you, a picture, no picture does it justice.  You had to be there, see, absorb.  It was finally absorbed!

      This happened less than 2 years ago.  But the scars are still fresh. What surprised me, is the spirit of these people.  After the tragedy, after the beatings, after the destruction, an Israeli flag was perched on a pole onto every mound of where a house stood, now stuck in the wreckage.  

      What stubbornly in-love people these are. The wind has weathered the flags, some now just a hint of the proud blue and white, sheared from the wind.

      One after another, home after home. Destruction.  The mark of Olmert, one of his legacies. Yet, each mound holds a tattered flag of Israel.  These people have the strength, and VISION.

      ...and a next generation.



      Av 11, 5767, 7/26/2007

      I Cried in Room # 617

      by Tamar Yonah

      It was a poem someone had written. Someone who was living in my hotel room before I got there. Someone who for eight months was crammed into this room with his family, bewildered, hurt and forgotten by his countrymen. Someone had written a poem, a poem of pain and anguish, ...and I happened to find it.

      ( In honor of the 2 year anniversary of the expulsion from Gush Kaitf, I am re-posting this piece I wrote that happened a little over a year ago)

      It was supposed to be a happy occasion. We were celebrating my son's Bar Mitzvah that fell in the week of Passover, and since we knew we wouldn't be able to host all the extended family in my house for a Passover Seder and a Bar Mitzvah Sabbath, we came to the conclusion that we would find an affordable hotel that would be able to sleep and feed the family here in Israel, and those coming from abroad.

      We arrived at a Jerusalem hotel, where I got the keys to room 617. After glancing around the room, I sent my kids and family down to the dining area where they had a light meal offered before the Passover Seder. I stayed behind to unpack their holiday clothes and to make up the beds for the children.

      I liked having some quiet after the brief chaos. We were eight people crammed into two small hotel rooms with an adjoining door. There was lots of luggage and little space to spread out. Two of my kids would have to sleep on the floor, I decided. I took up the two cushions from the couch bed that was in our room and decided to make it a mattress. Then, leaning over to pull out the couch-bed, I spotted a folded piece of paper between the mattress and the metal support springs.

      Unfolding it, I found it was actually two pages stapled together and typewritten in Hebrew. I began to read it.

      "Kinah" (Lamentation) was the title. No author's name. After the first three lines, I took some weak steps backwards, fell onto the main bed of the room and started to cry.

      It was a poem someone had written. Someone who was living in my hotel room before I got there. Someone who for eight months was crammed into this room with his family, bewildered, hurt and forgotten by his countrymen. Someone had written a poem, a poem of pain and anguish, ...and I happened to find it. 

      Was it left for me, the 'next occupant', purposely? Or was it forgotten in the rush to evacuate the hotel to let new guests take over even this temporary abode for Passover?

      I had heard that many of the families ensconced in these Jerusalem area hotels for an "indefinite time" were now being forced to move again to make room for Passover and Easter guests.

       

      "Oh my gosh, this room belonged to a family from Gush Katif!" I was shaking.

      What follows is a loose translation of the Hebrew text:

      Kinah

      On the Expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif,
      The Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria,
      I will lament every year with a broken and bitter heart.

      How is it possible that a Jewish prime minister - Ariel Sharon - can give away a land brimming with wisdom and talent to Arabs, oppressors of Israel, as a gift and present?

      How is it possible that he cheated his voters by expressing his love saying, "In my days, you will sit safely on your land," and then betrayed our trust, saying, "To them it belongs (the Arabs) ? not to you"?

      How is it possible that people were sent to build, work and settle, affirm by self-sacrifice the building of the land, and now they were betrayed and disinherited, their land handed to Ishmaelites?

      How is it possible that he made covenants with murderers
      and gave the land of G-d with no recompense, to rapists, and then he reproached and blasphemed, saying, there is no G-d in the land, Who judges.

      How is it possible that he attempted to cover his and his sons' crimes with much cunning, and shed shame on those goodly ones who toil over Torah, the people of the land? They will concentrate on the Disengagement, and his sons' guilt will be lost in oblivion and turmoil.

      How is it possible that the heads of parliament gave a majority to the decision - a parliament that was chosen by the nation.... to end the quiet dwelling of the old, and the playing of the children from their streets.... to expel them, shame them, and give what belongs to them, to a bloodthirsty nation?

      How is it possible that he scorned the laws of the Torah, he and his company of friends, and he despised the lovely land and legislated laws of his own desire?

      How is it possible that police, soldiers and judges all stood by his side and participated in the joys of all his evil deeds and did not say, "Enough. Our will is an evil one."?

      How is it possible that they announced to pioneering Jews settling the land: 'Enough! Stop! You have already sat many years in your settlements and now we will give this land to your enemies - your oppressors.'

      How is it possible that Israel, a holy nation, cried out in tears to undo and revoke the decree of insolents and criminals and G-d concealed His face and left His land to traitors?

      How is it possible that we stood in prayer and supplication and poured out our hearts; perhaps G-d will spare His nation and remove the decree of an evil government and the nation of G-d will lament, for the land was given to the hand of the vain and evil?

      How is it possible that Jews were forcibly expelled from their homes, tossed onto buses... men, women and their children, and no mercy was shown for their property and their hard work?

      How is it possible that they enacted a violent order... police and soldiers, to remove their brothers - the sons of Israel - from their homes? O Land, don't cover their crimes until sins cease.

      How is it possible that they destroyed, out of hatred, houses, synagogues and schools full of Torah, and mercilessly threw people out onto the streets?

      How is it possible that without any explanation or reason they destroyed factories, greenhouses and every growing field and gave their places to savages and the dishonest?

      How is it possible that he raised his hand upon synagogues and yeshivas, and put an end to houses of study and the chatter of infants, while saying, 'Thus the world's nations will love us more'?

      How is it possible that he invaded graves and extracted bones
      of holy ones killed by bullets, fire and stones and he did not feel he would be hit by a curse - shchik atzamot - where his bones are pulverized, ground and pounded?

      How is it possible that they gloated in the shadow of our sorrow, all his companions and lovers, saying, "G-d left the land, the house is empty of its Lord. Va-avdah b'hafkaira nicha leya "?

      He who has mercy on the poor, (please) have mercy on the afflicted and return them to their legacy, for in You they trust. And bring closer the Redemption, for Israel shall be redeemed by G-d for eternity.

      Who were these people who lived in room 617 for eight months? How many children did they have? What were their jobs before they were sacrificed by the politicians who came to power? Were they happy to leave the hotel for a 'caravilla' (trailer home), or were they victimized once again, but this time, too tired and too broken to fight? Did they leave this poem purposely for the next occupant of the room to find, which happened to be me, or was it left behind by accident? Why didn't the maid find it (everything was cleaned well before Passover, even the carpets were recently shampooed, I could feel the dampness in the rugs with my feet)?

      Did G-d want me to find this, to share this cry with others?

      Yes, I cried in room 617. I wonder how much crying there was in this room the last eight months before I got there.

      Since the expulsion, I have prayed every morning that HaShem should bless our brothers and sisters from Gush Katif and the northern Samaria region with even more wonderful and happier lives than before, and that things should start improving immediately for them.

      Crying is good. It's not a solution, although it's a good start to bring us to action. On behalf of our brothers and sisters who were wrenched from their homes, lives and communities, please, let us all do a special act of kindness in their merit: pray for their well-being in your prayers every day until they are settled; make a donation directly to these families to help them rebuild their lives (please email me at the link in the right hand column above) visit them, write them or make a 'twin city' with them to show that you care; make a firm commitment to act in the future to prevent anything like this from happening again.

      May any future crying in room 617 be from cries of joy from new occupants who have come to visit Israel to herald the Moshiach and help bring the redemption that G-d has promised us all. And may we start positive actions now to ensure it comes speedily, in our days. Amen.

      Postscript

      The mystery has been solved! The family in room 617 has been found. They were from N'vei Dekalim and they include 11 children. Hear this dramatic interview with the mother of this family here.