Daily Israel Report

Psalms in Morag

Soldiers have come to remove families that are gathered in a nursery class in Morag. The families have asked the soldiers to recite Psalms together with them.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 8/17/2005, 11:58 AM / Last Update: 8/17/2005, 10:07 AM

One man, with his and other children around them, recited the blessing on tearing one's garment at a time of mourning aloud, and tore his shirt. Others recited the blessing, "Blessed... the True Judge" and similarly tore their garments. Women stood around, silently sobbing, while their little children looked wide-eyed at the people around them in total innocence.

One resident said, "We come in the way of King David, who when he had a chance to harm his fellow Jews, did not do so. I'm sorry to say, he is not with you now; he's with us. You are violent; the fact that you're not hitting us right now is only because I'm not resisting. But you trained for many weeks how to fight us, and how to remove my baby from my arms."

"If you had real courage, you wouldn't be here right now," he said to the officers.

The officer responded, "It is hard for all of us." Another one then said, "I know how hard it is for you, but I ask you anyway, even though it's impossible, to come out together with me, embraced together."

The young resident, crying, said, "I won't. I can't do anything to ease your conscience. I want you to not be able to sleep afterwards. Do you know why? My brother is now in the United States, and do you know why? He said that if he would be here, he would simply collapse. He simply couldn't take it. So he left and follows the news on the internet - but he said he just sits and cries all the time, and he can't sleep at night."

In the end, despite all, the soldier and the resident walked out, arms around each other's shoulders.

The evacuation of Morag is far from over, however. Dozens of people were taken out - on their own two legs or by being carried - from the town's synagogue. Many families remain in their houses, and dozens of recently-arrived youths and others are still hiding in various buildings.