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      by Batya Medad
      A Unique Perspective by Batya Medad of Shiloh
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      Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.)  Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching.  She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:

      Shiloh Musings

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      Adar Bet 21, 5768, 3/28/2008

      We Need A Yehuda Kind of Leader


      It's almost three years since the thousands of peaceful law-abiding Jews who had been living in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron were forcefully transfered, evicted, exiled (if you can suggest some more and better verbs, that's what the comment section is for) from their homes. Most of them still haven't gotten on with new lives.
      I purposely used the adjective "new" instead of "their," since I mean new for a reason.
      Even those of us who aren't Bible scholars know that our Moshiach will come from the tribe of Yehuda, because Yehuda wasn't afraid to say:
      "I was wrong."
      I'm just curious if any of the European Jewish leaders, including the rabbis and Judenrat, from the time of the Holocaust, ever apologized for encouraging their communities to remain.
      All of the good Jews who were forcefully transfered, evicted, exiled from their homes should be well on the way to new lives and not living in refugee camps dreaming and planning the recreation of their former lives. Their rabbis and community leaders should be encouraging them to move, retrain and stop living the lie. Their rabbis and community leaders should do what Yehuda did and admit that they were wrong.
      It's less than two hours before Shabbat, and I must finish my cooking and cleaning, so I will just post something I wrote two and half years ago.
      Musings #148 October 19, 2005 Succot, The 16th of Tishrei
      Humpty Dumpty
      Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
      Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
      All the King's horses
      And all the King's men
      Couldn't put Humpty back together again
      There’s a Humpty Dumpty situation going on here in Israel. Unfortunately, too many people think that they can put “Humpty back together again.” I’m referring to the destroyed communities of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron. I understand the desire of the uprooted refugees to recreate their pre-Disengagement lives, but it’s impossible, and I don’t think anyone’s doing them a favor by supporting this dream. Even if by some miracle, identical communities could be built and erected in similar topography in a few months, they would never be the same. And by expecting to duplicate the heavenly lives they once had, they’re setting themselves up for even more pain.
      The Disengagement victims must each make decisions for what’s best now for themselves and their families and get on with it. First of all they must job hunt, retrain where necessary, and find some sort of housing to buy. They shouldn’t spend their limited funds on rentals, unless they really don’t have any money and had never been homeowners. They shouldn’t waste their money on those government built shantytowns, where there is no employment, no opportunities. It’s a recipe for disaster, a pressure cooker for traumatized stressed-out people.
      The uprooted, evacuees, owe it to themselves and their children to find themselves the best opportunities and soon as possible. Depression is a socially contagious disease, and it’s spreading rapidly.
      Any new communities founded should be for the sake of the mitzvah of “yishuv Ha’Aretz,” “settling the Land,” and they must be envisioned as totally new endeavors, wherever they may be.
      For another very different reason, it’s important to spread out “yamma, v’kedma, tzafona v’negba,” west, east, north and south, is to break the disengagement between the different sectors of our beloved country. Too many of us are totally removed, oblivious, of what’s happening to the evacuees. The refugees are isolated in hotels and caravan (trailer) sites. It’s much too easy for your typical Israeli to pretend that either they don’t exist or that they’re of such a different breed, that they “deserved it.” And they’re no longer even seen on the news or read about in the press, since the editors find nothing new and earth shattering in their painful predicament. They’ve been homeless for months already. That’s too boring to rate even a few seconds or column inches.
      It would be a very different situation if throughout the country, in various buildings and neighborhoods ordinary Israelis would be faced with new neighbors, who’ve lost their previous homes to Disengagement. They would see the broken furniture being taken out of the moving vans and end up helping take the refrigerator and other appliances back down the stairs after it’s discovered that its wires were burnt by the heat in the storage facility. Children would come from school telling of new students in their class who have nothing, since all their old toys and books were damaged or lost when they were forced to leave their homes.
      This meeting is the next stage of “Panim el Panim,” the meetings, face-to-face and it must happen. This is how we’ll finally begin “hitchabrut,” connection, unity, which is what our nation, our people need desperately. This is the only way we can heal and bring salvation and Redemption, the Geula Shleimah.
       
      “HaRachaman Hu Yakim et Succat David Hanofalet,” May the Merciful One Raise up for Us the Fallen Tabernacle of David,”