Friday, March 18, 2011

We're All Settlers

In memory of the Fogels.

In case you were distracted by civil war in Libya, the disasters in Japan and your own life in general, there was a great tragedy last Shabbat in Israel. An entire family, parents and small children, were murdered in their sleep.

The community of Itamar is of course a "settlement".

But what does that mean?

From the perspective of Hamas, every Israeli community, including Tel Aviv, is a "settlement".

From the perspective of every anti-Semite, every Jew worldwide is a "settler".

Question #1 + 2 for your table: Do you ever feel like a settler in your life? Is this good or bad?

I just came from a funeral home. Even though I don't have a shul - or perhaps because I don't have a shul - they sometimes ask me to run a funeral for someone who didn't have a connection to any of Baltimore's many synagogues.

In this case, I happen to have known the deceased. She was a shining person whom one remembers first and foremost for her smile. One of her grandsons told me today that this trait was not newly acquired - that even as a child, people called her "the girl with the million-dollar smile."

Questions #3 + 4:

How would you like to be remembered like that?

What are you going to do about it?

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim

PS - in honor and memory of the slain Fogel family, 20,000 people signed up on Facebook to light Shabbat candles tonight. Click here to join.

PPS - here is a video in memory of the Fogels...

PPPS - here is a moving Jerusalem Post memorial.

PPPPS here is a poem written by a friend of ours who happens to be a neighbor of the Fogels:

Just down the road
a family was murdered
just down the road
a knife was jammed into a baby's heart
just down the road
3 beautiful children became orphans and bereaved brothers and sisters
just down the road
lots of people who hate me and my nation sleep quietly at night

I know, it's not new news
my Bubie saw her parents murdered in front of her, and became in seconds a
seven year old mother for her two younger brothers
I know, nothings new
almost all of my husband's family turned into ashes in the holocaust
and now I know - Amalek is still sticking around

just up the road, wonderful families are setting down roots in the land of
just up the road, live humble, honest and faithful men and women
just up the road, there are people who believe in the eternity and strength
of Am Israel

the road is lengthy and winding, but its direction is clear and certain
on this road i cry and fear, pray and believe, wish and hope,
and deeply thank G-d, for giving me the privilege to take this road on, a
few steps forward.

written in pain
erev Purim 5771

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