Shavua tov- may it be a blessed week. I wish to begin with a memory and a blessing. I remember our first Shabbat in our yishuv, the community of Bet Horon. I stepped out of our caravan on Shabbat and was astonished with the silence- not one song of a bird- I turned to my husband and said, there are no birds here! No electricity, no running water - no buses that I knew - but no birds????? I looked around and saw- no trees no bushes no flowers. Empty and bare just like the high mountains around us.
We, the few families living at that time in our yishuv planted the trees, and bushes and hand watered them. Anyone coming into our community would be greeted by a beautiful entrance with roses- planted by Yisrael our friend and the head of the community. Even though we still had no running water but received water twice a day to be put in the high water tower- and this for years.
Now when we walk around or look out of our windows, we see trees and flowers- in our garden fruit trees - hear and see the wonderful songs of birds and will never forget or take it for granted that we have planted, and deep into our beloved Land have sunk our roots. Even now in the midst of a very cold winter, we see the blankets of leaves on the ground and the children jumping on them with joy.
For nature is joy and a blessing, and these trees, like us have their roots deep into the Holy soil of Eretz Yisrael. In a few days we will celebrate TuB'Shvat, the festival of nature, trees and the blessings of the Land. Chag sameach and may we always be privileged to build, plant live and love our eternal homeland, Israel.
Now a few words about Ariel Sharon - I did not wish to begin with him because I always try to be positive- albeit he was the direct commander of my beloved husband in the Yom Kippur War and I had many occasions to be with him both after the war and especially because my husband was reported MIA and for months I did not know if he was alive or dead. I was with him in his office, and several times in his helicopter going from hill top to hill top, during the establishment of many of our communities in Yesha.
I also warned already in 1998 in a live press conference, (when I was sent to represent the pioneers in Yesha and the Jordan Valley) in Washington D.C. during the Wye Plantation discussions," that he is dangerous and that the precedent that he pushed to implement of the destruction of Yamit and the expulsion of Jews from their homes is ominously a danger for him to repeat."
We will never forget nor will we forgive the destruction of our communities In Gush Katif, the synagogues, agriculture, lives and the uprooting of our loved ones from their graves because of Sharon.
We shall never forgive or forget that because of him we in Israel have the only rocket protected train to Sderot. And the non-ending attacks on Israel from Gaza. Nor shall we forget the pain, the heartbreak of our families who many of them even today, are refugees with no homes because of Sharon.
No we shall never forget ,and we wait for the day to rebuild as we rebuilt the Gush- Gush Etzion- to rebuild Gush Katif and replant our roots deep in the soil never to leave again. amen