JWR Wandering Jews

Jewish World Review June 5, 2003 / 5 Sivan, 5763


A bad movie that
seems will never end

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | According to custom, the cheese cakes are baked, the flowers ordered, and the home is spotless. It is Shavous eve in the Holy Land.

Though the holy day commemorates the Encounter at Sinai, when after receiving the Torah we became a nation, I feel more like a Jew about to watch Moses himself descending Mt. Sinai, 10 Commandments in hand, confronting those who rather serve an idol.

Today, one is left wondering --- about Jewry's future and, particularly, of those here who would be our "leaders."

Today is June 4, 1967 (Oops, I mean June 4, 2003), and life here has been turned upside down.

It's been exactly "double chai" (36) years since we cried, danced, and rejoiced at the outcome of Six Days of miracles and victories from the Arab world's unprovoked attack upon us.

The heroes among us, the messengers of the Almighty, and the soldiers who died (hopefully not now in vain) 36 years ago have been forgotten today, on June 4, 2003.

The three ring circus that came to town in Aqaba, not too far from my home in a "settlement" in Efrat, Israel, was viewed by you and by us on the tube, heard on the radio, and scanned on the Internet on this day of infamy.

In our home, the children are usually treated to "G"-rated videos when there is no school the following day. Tonight the store was out and with the kids free to play, I decided to watch something myself --- a production that is not pollyannaish, had no upbeat music.

Produced by the Israeli "alternative media" network, Arutz 7, it could have been titled "We Told You So," chronicling, as it does, a full decade of the deceit and lies and the resulting mayhem from collision course that was -- and remains -- the "road to peace."

Mixed with the ceremonies, limp handshakes, and the pomp of White House lawns, seaside photo ops, Camp Davids, and an adulterer president, are haunting images of victims of terror, busses and malls and restaurants that were blown to bits, a Seder night in Netanya strewn with body pieces, funerals, and shiva (mourners') houses.

At 1PM this afternoon, just as the clock repeated the exact "start time" 36 years ago when Jews were being attacked from all sides by Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, I turned on the TV, a rare act in my home.

I watched a killer of Jews from way back in Munich, 1972 and his "security" minister Dahlan in his 3 piece Armani suit that showed his hands of blood from Kfar Darom that took lives and maimed the Cohen children. I watched an old Mapainik who made 50 years of contribution, controversy, and care for the Jewish people go down the drain in his desire and lust to cleanse his Lebanon 1982 reputation as he reached the age of Mapai return to senility.

The seaside resorts resembled the Aqabas, Sharem El Sheiks, Wye Plantations (no water there), Camp Davids, Madrids, and Oslos with the same bad movie theme.

Jews capitulate, give in, and then bury 1000+ of their brothers and sisters and co-religionists over time and have to spend new monies to work with other Jews who used to have hands, legs, and eyes before the bombs and terror of the last 10 years.

As I watched this bad movie my hope was that somehow, miraculously, Siskel or Medved would suddenly appear yell "stop tape" and brand the film a 1/2 * of approval. I then turned the channels from Hebrew to Arabic to the antisemitic BBC, SKY,and CNN. They, too, were all showing this bad movie. The King of Jordan, the Arafat clone in terror without a beard or kafiyeh and the Saudi ruler stood in the sun on this June 4, 2003. They all realized that the message of the movie was that "terror pays."

At 6 PM, I drove to Jerusalem to witness a beautiful scene that helped me erase the memories of today's bad movies.

I parked the car near the David's Citadel Hotel and walked the 15 minutes to Zion Square, where an enormous rally was getting underway to protest the gift of a terror state, another Palestine. (There is a state for Palestinians whose capital is Amman.)

The beautiful scene was thousands of Jews stretching from the bottom of Ben Yehuda up to HaHistadrut Street almost touching King George on the other side.

The main artery, Jaffa Road, was closed from Shlomzion Hamalka on one side and closed from the Clal building towards Machane Yehuda.

At 7:15PM, the loudspeakers began to announce a united "Mincha" (afternoon prayer service). By its end, the crowds of "settlers," "unsettlers," and bare headed "right wingers" of all ages - men, women, and children -- were swelling in numbers.

I walked and walked from the top of Ben Yehuda to as close as I could get to the stage. Old films were being broadcast betweeen the speakers --- rabbis, and Knesset ministers.

I looked up to the screens which were positioned everywhere and I was watching Arik Sharon speak at prior rallies of 1999, 2000, 2001, attending funerals and shiva houses of early Oslo war victims --- the so-called "sacrifices for peace."

"What do they mean by a Palestinian State? Why did 'they' give them guns? The only way to defeat terror is to crush terror with our IDF," he bellowed.

The old films were being shown to the crowds tonight as Arik Sharon walked through the streets of Hebron, went up to the Temple Mount, and sat in the shiva (mourner's) house of the Zars in the Shomron after their son was murdered by terrorists.

I closed my eyes and thought that I was watching my 2nd bad movie on the same day, June 4, 1967, oops, I mean June 4, 2003.

By now night had fallen and at 8:30, I walked over to a policeman with three stripes on his shoulder lapel. Knowing that he was an officer and a gentleman but did not look like Tom Cruise, I asked him how many people were we surrounded by. He answered 80,000. I then asked him if that was a good number on the night before we're all supposed to be at Mt. Sinai.

He answered that Mt. Sinai was now in Egypt's control and we could not get there.

I asked him what about tomorrow night at the Temple Mount. He answered that the Temple was in the Waqf's control.

I asked him if I could get a "road map" from him on how to get to Mt. Sinai anyway, since I had an American passport and could get there tomorrow before Shavuos.

He laughed and told me to go back to the rally.

I began to walk up Ben Yehuda and as I passed the spot near Cafe Rimon, I remembered the December '01 terror attack which took 7 lives on that Saturday night.

I walked further up Ben Yehdua nearer to the Bazaar and Mizrahi Bank and I saw the sign remembering the terror victims who died at that spot.

It got crowded at the corner of Ben Hillel and Ben Yehuda. I began to push and say "excuse me" many times. Lo and behold, I saw the "cause" of the bottleneck. There were over 200 young men, teenagers, and kids dancing to the tune of one guitarist and one drummer singing songs from the Hallel prayer and other Siddur hymns.

I made it to the top on Hahistadrut street and at 9 PM, I looked down at this beautiful scenes of the future leaders of our people, the youth that made up most of the 80,000 demonstrators. I searched in vain for signs picturing a Nazi uniformed Sharon or a kaffiyed Sharon.

The rally did not have those signs, the speeches did not attack Sharon, the films that we kept seeing over and over again of Sharon as Sharon said it all.

It was 9 30PM and after viewing and standing still for one minute of silence as the advent screens now were scrolling and rolling the names of the 1000+ dead Jews of the last few years of Oslo/Camp David/Wye/Aqaba/Sharem El Sheik/Madrid wars, I was wearing my windshield wiping sunglasses. The tears of pride as to why I am here and not standing on Pico Blvd. in LA, were reinforced as I watched the younger generations dance, sing, and pray together.

At the corner of Ben Yehuda and King George I saw four IDF "hesder" soldiers in full battle gear asking for a "minyan" for Maariv, the evening prayers. Instantly, six Jews from all backgrounds joined this King George/Ben Yehuda minyan on the street as the vehicular traffic was blocked way back at the Great Synagogue area.

The lead soldier put down his M16 and shouted "Barchu," signaling the service's start. We prayed together and as we concluded, another soldier began to recite the "Sefiras HaOmer," marking the completion of the 49 days - 7 weeks -- of anticipation from Passover to Mt. Sinai, tomorrow night.

I walked away after the Omer count and yes, I made it without forgetting for 49nights. Someone at a table was handing out copies of the Book of Ruth, which is read in synagogues on Shavous. The sign over his table said "Get the Real Road Map Here!" I took the free Ruth scroll and I began my walk back to the car to drive on my road past Bethlehem where Rachel the Matriarch was resting.

I am now going to sleep after a day of bad movies, beautiful scenery on Ben Yehuda, and the "Real Road Map" of the Book of Ruth.

Tomorrow night I won't make it to Mt. Sinai in Egypt, but will spend the night up in Jerusalem with the family so that I can join another 80,000 Jews who will merge at the Western Wall at 5AM on Shavuos morning, to await Moses' return with tablets of the real Road Map of our Torah which will supercede all other maps created by oil, money, and burning Bushes.

  —   Harvey Tannenbaum

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