Personal thoughts on current events, cultural events, Israel, Judaism, Jewish/Israel innovations and life from a Jewish perspective - read into that what you may.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Has anyone heard the Shofar?

Hearing the shofar during the Yamim Noraim is supposed to be a sort of wake up call. Have you heard the shofar this year? I mean have you really heard it?

Today Yechezkel Chazani from Netzer Hazani, GK, passed away suddenly in his car while his wife jumped out to buy some food to prepare for the seudah hamafseket. Yechezkel was 52 years old and a father of 6. His oldest is married and was also just expelled from his home in Kfar Yam, GK, and his youngest is 9. All 6 are now fatherless.

After speaking with people from Netzer Hazani and Gush Katif today I heard the same message over and over again - "Sharon killed Yechezkel".

Yechezkel was a healthy man, no known health or psychological issues. He and his family were not on the "special list" for social workers to look after. He was one of the pillars of the Netzer Hazani community and a hard working man who went from being a proud bread earner to unemployed. He and his wife just decided to rent a home in Hispin, as part of their efforts to take control of their lives.

Noone will know the real reasons why Yechezkel passed away. But becoming homeless, jobless and helpless without being abe to trust any official insitution to help, probably didn't assist in keeping Yechezkel healthy.

I think the people of Gush Katif are being too generous when they blame his death on Sharon. The truth is that the Israeli establishment killed Yechezkel, not Sharon. The court system, the judges, the heads of police, the press, the heads of the army etc.

The establishment of Isreal allowed Yechezkel and 8,000 other "salt of the earth" Israeli Jews come to this reality - not only did they allow these people to be expelled from their homes, but they took part in a process that leaves all these expellees with no "solution" of housing or employment one month after being expelled from their homes.

And what about us? Where do we fit in all of this?

8,000 Jews - grandparents, parents, children, teachers, doctors, farmers etc. - are homeless for a month, becoming more and more depressed and helpless as each day passes, and we go on with our regular lives as if nothing has happened. Is that really good?

Many of us are doing chesed to help these families, but few of us are doing anything to make the guilty establishment feel guilty for what its done. Few of us are doing anything to make sure that this picture doesn't repeat itself.

Have you really heard the shofar this year?

To anyone who has has really heard the shofar and realizes that something must be done to change all this - please contact me. There is plenty to do, even after you come home from your daily work.

Through messages we hear day in and day out we are made to feel as if we are powerless, and that everything is inevitable. Well, that is exactly against what the Yamim Noraim come to teach us!

The power of teshuva is the message that G-d tells us we have the power to make changes and make a difference in this world. We are not powerless, and everything is not inevitable.

The shofar will be blown Motzei Yom Kippur. Will you really hear it this year?

Gmar Chatima Tova,
Avi Abelow
"Expelled from Netzer Hazani by the Israeli Establishment"

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