09 August 2005

An Open Letter to North American Rabbis

An Open Letter to North American Rabbis
Monday, August 8, 2005 / 3 Av 5765

An open letter is being sent to dozens of North American rabbis, reminding them that the Gush Katif/Shomron crisis is not just "politics," and that it leaves in its wake a host of critical problems.The letter states, inter alia: Despite the best efforts of Arutz-7 and others, the masses of Jews still don't really 'get it' when it comes to understanding the critical nature of the Gush Katif issue...[It is suggested] that local rabbis around the country call a "special non-political meeting" to which all synagogue members are asked to come, at which the rabbis, or someone else, will explain the following points:* This will be a non-political meeting (this must be emphasized over and over, because there are many rabbis who apparently don't want to take a stand on Gush Katif or against the Israeli government, etc.)*

We are now in the Nine Days, and in keeping with the times, we are certainly in trouble! No matter whether you support the disengagement or oppose it, Israel is facing the following dangers, tribulations and general suffering:

1. Possible violent clashes between Jewish soldiers and Jewish civilians, with no one at all certain that there won't be bloodshed, Heaven forbid

2. Increased rocket attacks of late at Sderot and Gush Katif, with the danger that it will increase as the uprooting continues. There are currently 10-12 terrorist incidents each day in and around Gaza! Army generals have said that the disengagement cannot be carried out under these circumstances.

3. The forced uprooting of close to 10,000 Jews - including babies, great-grandparents, terrorism amputees and other victims, bereaved parents, and regular families - from their homes

4. The suffering of thousands of Jews who are torn between their faith that they are doing the right thing by clinging to the Land of Israel and their concern for their hard-earned possessions and material results of decades of work. - Should they pack up or not? - Should they sign government forms for alternative housing or not? - Should they order a large container in which to hold their belongings (since most of them have no permanent alternative in which to put the stuff for the next couple of years), or will this signal weakness to their neighbors and themselves? - Should they assume that there will be rocket attacks while the soldiers are packing up their belongings, resulting in a panicky retreat, leaving everything behind as in Lebanon five years ago? etc. etc.

5. The destruction of flowering Jewish communities in the Land of Israel

6. The destruction of yeshivot, schools and synagogues in the Land of Israel

7. The possibility - feared even by the plan's supporters - that this traumatic move will not bring the desired diplomatic results, but will rather result in increased pressure on Israel to continue to make unilateral or semi-unilateral concessions

8. The possibility - similarly feared by all - that this traumatic move will not bring the desired military results, but will rather result in increased terrorism on the Negev and areas bordering the northern Shomron
9. The possibility of broken families, psychological and emotional problems, inability to find employment, childrens' inability to adjust, and even suicides (warned by psychologists and social workers who accompanied the expulsion from Yamit 23 years ago) among families who will not be able to adjust to the new reality
10. The intensifying rift in Israeli society between sectors

11. The religious crisis that many in Israeli society, particularly the youth, may face upon finding that their religious-national ideals appear to be collapsing. Disillusionment with their rabbinic leaders and teachers, and lack of motivation

12. The increasing lack of trust among many youth and others in institutions such as police, courts and government - a societal and national problem of major proportions* and other "minor" problems we now face, such as corruption in government, lack of faith in government leaders, violent crime, etc.

ALL THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER ONE FEELS THAT WE SHOULD REMAIN IN GAZA OR NOT, OR WHETHER ONE BELIEVES IN ERETZ YISRAEL HASHLEIMAH (greater Land of Israel) AT THIS POINT IN HISTORY OR NOT!

Rabbis must understand that this is no longer a political issue.

Each of the above points alone would be a reason to call for fasting and prayer!Please make this message clear - THIS WEEK! - with rabbis calling for EMERGENCY community-wide meetings or shul membership meetings to explain it. This might be the way to solve the problem of "lack of getting through to the masses". We are all in trouble, and we need Teshuva, Tefillah, Tzedakah (repentance, prayer, charity)! At the very least, there must be massive prayer services in every single shul. The effect of thousands of these all over North America can be staggering!

And of course, those who want to do more, will find the way...Can you please send this message out in any other way you deem fit to the rabbis with whom you are in contact?

Sincerely, Arutz-7 - IsraelNationalNews.Com

---Readers are encouraged to send a copy of the letter to their rabbi.

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