Written in Israel at the completion of the Shiva of the three Israeli families, and during the grieving of Hadir family
There was a time that Israelis bragged about having a "normal" country. They had police and they had firemen. They had municipal workers and sewer cleaners. They had prostitutes and a Russian crime ring. The avenues were named after Jewish heroes and great Torah scholars, politicians intellectuals and philosophers and philanthropists. It was a Jewish country that had all these things and because these were signs of normalcy, there was a certain satisfaction for a people who had lived a ghettoed and restricted life for centuries. Of course that blessing is also a curse, because along with having a normal country comes having extremists, perverts and yes, terrorists. There is nothing satisfying about this. Criminal elements and racists exist in Israel as they do in any other country.
So what can we conclude about the grisly murder and kidnapping of three innocent teens in Israel that was answered by yet another grisly murder of a young Arab, Muhmad Abu Hadir, this time by a ring of Jewish terrorist extremists as payback? Are we to understand, as the media is presenting and as Palestinian leadership are suggesting, that Israelis are thugs and terrorists and that the Zionist "occupying" aggressive policies and authorities are the ones who should be condemned. Are we to digest this as just another example of tit for tat in an endless cycle of violence in which both sides are equally guilty?
The first thing that we conclude is that we too should grieve the loss of an innocent Arab boy who was the victim of ultra-nationalist racist rage and vengeance. May he find comfort with G-d. In our hearts, we too ought to express the same sentiments that the Fraenkel family expressed to Mahmud's father, Hussein Abu Hadir, when they told him that there are no excuses for terrorists, whether they target Arab or Jew; that the loss of his son is as devastating as the loss of their son. Terrorists are a blight in all societies and our hearts are broken for his loss too.
The second thing we can conclude is that equating the two sides–Palestinian and Israeli–is unfair and inaccurate. Yes, we have our terrorist element, but they are a mere handful in the history of the conflict. There have been horrible crimes committed in the name of Jewish nationalist extremism but they are rare, and are condemned by the left, the right and the center. General Chief of Staff Moshe Ayalon said he was ashamed, and this crime against Mahmud in no way represents the values of Judaism or of Jewish people. The Prime Minister condemned it as a reprehensible crime even before the perpetrators were known, and when he did, he labeled them terrorists who will face the full force of the law in court. MK Bennet, a right wing politician, called for legislation that equalizes the punishment for terrorists, Arab or Jew. Rabbinic authorities condemned their actions as a Hillul Hashem, a desecration of G-d's Name, for their moral perversion and for the damage they did to the reputation of the Jewish people.
My two years as ENJC president have come to an end,
The knowledge and experience I have gathered to Frank I will lend.
The relationships I’ve developed are on the top of my list,
Friends I have made and people I respect will not cease to exist.
We’ve accomplished so much hand-in-hand as a team,
The time has flown by, or so it would seem
A new contract for Rabbi and one for Cantor as well,
Our clergy is in place, to new members a good sell.
A new parking lot, website and sukkuh were desperately needed,
New toilets and thermostats were installed because Evan pleaded.
Our current fundraiser requests each and every congregant donate a brick,
The June 18th deadline for the first installation is coming real quick.
A forever reminder of a special occasion or loved one,
A bench to sit on, read a book, talk with a friend, relax in the sun.
Planning for board meetings and countless e-mails I won’t miss,
More time with my granddaughters Belle and Lucy will bring me great bliss.
Over the past 2 years I’ve sat on the bima alongside rabbi,
I’ve announced many programs and events for our congregants to try.
It’s been an honor and privilege to serve as president,
Watching the fall lineup of TV shows is now how my time will be spent.
Thanks to the board members for their support and cooperation,
Important spiritual, educational, religious, social and community work has been done.
My family deserves the most gratitude,
I’m sure there were times the stress made me quite rude.
To my wonderful husband Peter who often would lend me his ear,
I’ll be home many more evenings; I hope that pleases you- dear.
ENJC is OUR home away from home, where our children will grow-
A place that brings comfort, friendship and happiness,
Embrace it with love and to all may G-d bless
Please join us on Saturday June 7th as we honor our past ENJC presidents and for the installation of the 2014-15 Board of Directors on Friday, June 13th as well as to recognize those members who will be leaving the board. Read More