Middle East 6:12 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 4:45 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 3:13 AM 3/7/2014
Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Yehudit Tayar lives with her family in Bet Horon in the Benjamin Region for over 30 years, serves as an emergency first response medic, sits on the Board of Directors of Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron,and is one of the spokespeople of the Jewish pioneers in Yesha.
Today I had the privilege of taking some special people out to see the reality today of our communities, of the Land and history. Each time I am gratified by the response to the truth and the realization of what Israel really is, and the importance of our communities in Yesha to hold on to our history and also to protect our heritage.
They were appalled by the security fence lying smack against our community and shocked at the immense development inside of the PA regions; the villages around us. They kept saying how it is continuously reported how the Arabs suffer and - "would you look at their mansions?" is what they said.
They were shocked by the red signs at the entrance to so many Arab villages warning Israelis against entering the "A" area under the PA control warning about the dangers while they kept seeing PA vehicles driving down our roads.
"Why doesn't this get out? Why don't people know the truth about the situation?" They kept asking repeatedly how can Israel not show the true picture of the situation instead of always being blamed for oppressing the Arabs.
Driving down the path of the forefathers in our Bible Land where our history took place, and pointing out Ma'aleh Bet Horon, where the battles of Joshua, the battles of the Maccabbees took place- especially now on Channukah was so moving. Givon and the Tomb of Samuel the prophet - seeing the history in front of you. Villages from the time of the 2nd Temple, seeing a toll road of the Romans during their occupation of our Land and seeing the Jewish communities from the time of the Temple in Jerusalem had them speechless.
We stood on the high mountain in our community overlooking the sea, Tel Aviv, the coastal plains, and the runways of Ben Gurion Airport, standing amongst the Jordanian bunkers that we left on our community to remind all of what was there before the liberation of these Lands in 1967- a Jordanian outpost with bunkers and trenches used to attack the soft belly of Israel- the coastal plains. Now surrounding these bunkers are playgrounds, trees, flowers and homes of the Jewish pioneers who are living here, the laughter of children - life.
We do not take this for granted and are very grateful to be able to fulfill the promise of the return to Zion - and we are determined to continue to protect our Torah, our Land and our people by being here, by showing the truth and we are here to stay.
Connecting with the Land is connecting with our history and our heritage and the best way to understand the importance of what we are doing by returning to the Heartland of our people.
Channukah sameach and chodesh tov
We are about to celebrate the Festival of Channukah, and for us in my community, it is a double celebration. We live in Bet Horon on the Path of the Forefathers where amongst our history and the miracles we had as a Nation, the famous battles of Judah the Maccabbee took place right here in Ma'aleh Bet Horon. Fittingly when our community was re-established, the first families moved up on Channukah.
But why re-established? Very simple - because there is a deep history of Jewish life here in Bet Horon and the region around it. Back in the good old days before the Oslo Agreements we actually traveled on the Path of the Forefathers- the original one. The names of the Arab villages around us are translated to "Upper and Lower Bet Horon" in connection with the Jewish community that was here.
Just to the south of us down the original road is also a Roman toll booth where the Roman conquerers of our Land used to have travelors pay for the use of the road.
This year on our 36th Anniversary of the re-establishment of our community, we shall also celebrate a very moving and special event; the opening of our new elementary school here in Bet Horon. For us who remember how we paid in order to open and maintain a school here in our community it is very moving indeed.
When my husband and I moved up to Bet Horon almost 34 years ago, First- Second -and Third grade together were 5 children. Today B"H we have more children in first grade than we had in our entire school.back then.
The decision to have a school here no matter what it cost us personally was very important to us. The decision was also based on the type of community we have here. Our community is religiously observant publically even though we have less observant families living here because the idea of our community is the unity of our people and Nation. The symbol of our community is the 4 Species which are blessed on Succot- Tabernacels. Because each of them is unique and different but you must have all four of them in order to make the blessing.
Yes, we the Jewish people are a mosaic of varied types - but we are one people and unity is the most important thing for our survival. The unity of our Nation together and the unity of our Nation to our Land is what we must ensure. When I look around our community and see trees, flowers, birds, homes and going on 4 generations- my family B"H today is 3 generations here - I know that the miracles of Channukah are still with us.
Chag Urim Sameach, Happy Festival of LIghts to all.
A new week has begun, and outside as I write this thunder booms and a light rain is falling. When we were little we were told that the rain is the angels tears. Now as an adult I can understand why the angels cry. Again our government is betraying the families of victims of terror instead of demanding retribution for the murders of our loved ones. Again we hear that instead of encouraging the punishment of terrorists for their crimes, our government and Netanyahu are turning their backs on us and preventing even the legal punishment for the crime of terror.
I just returned from Opher Military Court in yet another of the endless sessions for the trials of the terror gang who planned, practised and carried out countless attacks with rocks thrown from a moving vehicle to a vehicle traveling towards them on Highway 60 -the Jerusalem- Hevron Highway. Some people were injured by the attacks and cars damaged but this gang of murdering terrorists succeeded in their plan when Asher and Yonatan Palmer HY"D were murdered over two years ago. This young man, Asher z"l was traveling with his infant son, Yonatan z"l to meet Puah, the pregnant wife and mother, in Jerusalem for Shabbat. The enormous rock that was heaved from the moving car driven by the terrorist gang struck Asher's car in the windshield and murdered both Asher a month short of 25, and Yonatan four days less than a year HY"D,a week before Rosh HaShanna.
These trials are so painful and heartbreaking, but our presence along with holding the photographs of the victims, has made such an enormous difference in the attitude of all present in the military court. This gives a presence for the victims,changing these trials from merely names to real faces and people. I wish that Netanyahu would come to these trials personally, and bear witness to what the familes of victims of terror must go through- the pain never ends. Perhaps this would prevent Netanyahu from releasing murderers and preventing justice from being fulfilled.
Having the privilege of working in security and rescue I get to be with the best people. People who think first of the welfare of others, even before our families - who by the way deserve our endless gratitude for supporting us even when it is difficult.
It is a known fact that when you give to others you get double back. I can vouch for that because when I am privileged to be able to help others whether it is in emergency rescue, security or just being there for others, it is heartwarming to be able to help someone.
Being a volunteer in Hatzalah Yehuda and Shomron allows us to not only work with the military, with airborn rescue, to save precious lives, but also to have a special program to teach first aid to special groups of people: blind, deaf, mute, elderly etc. We know for a fact that someone with training how to react in a medical emergency can save a life.
Having the zchut- privilege to live and work where we do is really a blessing. To be able to give comfort and aid and sometimes to be able to save a life is not something that we take for granted. To be able to go out and help someone and let them know that we are there for them is a gift from HaShem- from G-d and we are very grateful for this.
We are simple people and as Yosef the righteous said, "I sit amongst my Nation." This is a great privilge and truly a blessing. It is always my prayer that we are able to serve HaShem and be true messengers in HIS Name, and that we are able to help protect our Torah, our Land and our people.
The fall winds blow and the leaves fall off the trees -,this is a natural part of nature. There we have the change of seasons going from warm and dusty to chilly and even rainy - this is normal. You anticipate changing weather conditions.
What is not normal is for governments mocking the trust of the Nation, and using the name of democracy to betray the people who voted them into office. You do not expect those that you helped elect to office to betray you, and instead of fulfilling their promises change the platform they were elected on and totally blow away the most important and ethical stands of the governments of Israel.
Families of victims of terror live with the pain and horror of the loss of a loved one and try to keep living as normal a life possible under the circumstances. Our soldiers filled with determination and motivation to bring these monstrous terrorists to justice endanger themselves and sometimes pay with their own lives.
In past there has been a ethical stand by Israeli governments that there will be no negotiations with terrorists, and what happened? What made governments of Israel not only negotiate with terrorists but also release them? Especially with the painful reality of how terror is encouraged by this and terrorists are now martyred even more than they were before by the Arab world and enemies of Israel.
As I stand with my friends, and family who lost loved ones from terror attacks demonstrating - even begging as I did in a fax to Prmie MInister Netanyahu not to release terrorists, the pain of loss only explodes more, and the pain of betrayal is unbearable.
Does anyone even relate to our families and their anguish? Some have lived through the shock of the terror attack murdering their loved ones, the horror of seeing the murderers after being caught and brought to trial, and hearing the sentences declared. All of this only to see these unremorseful monsters go free.
Not to mention the pain of families of soldiers who fell bringing these murdering terrorists to trial in order to see that justice is done, and that those who would murder Jews -or anyone else in our Homeland will pay for their crimes.
These families have every right to feel betrayed- as should each and every citizen of this country of ours. It is normal for seasons to change but it is not normal or moral for an elected government to ignore the most basic and elementary responsiblity that it is supposed to fulfill- to protect the citizens of Israel - their lives, and the memory of our loved ones whom the governments of Israel were unable to keep safe.
I, not only as a member of a family of victims of terror, but as a Jew, an Israeli - as a person beg for this to be stopped because not only we who lost loved ones from terror suffer- but all suffer including those who heavon forbid may themselves feel the pain of loss from the future terror. The winds of betrayal must stop and desist now and Israel must stop releasing terrorists.