Blog

Day 5: Frequent Flyers

August 9, 2005

Many flyers were handed out today. One advertised a handholding chain from Gaza to Jerusalem. Another advertised a communal prayer in the evening. Another flyer informed residents of the siege that would befall the settlements next week, when transportation between settlements will be forbidden and power and water possibly cut. The community called on us to stock up on canned foods, water, flashlights, toilet paper and many other amenities for at least two weeks. An official flyer from a senior IDF General, casually handed out to residents at Netzarim, Morag, and maybe some other settlemen

Read More

Day 4: CNN & Dew Drop In

August 9, 2005

Yesterday, for the first time in nine years, I davened (recited) Shakharit, the traditional morning prayer. It wasn't the result of any religious revelation or desire to return to Orthodoxy. Some student supporters had simply decided to go to shul, and I joined them. I recited the summer prayer that God let the dew fall. After Shakharit, a small CNN crew landed in Morag to film the place. No one really welcomed them except me. No one really likes to talk to the press unless it's for a live broadcast. In the editing room reporters manage to turn things around and preserve only those remarks t

Read More

Day 3: The Nine Days

August 8, 2005

A new week in the Gush -- and I have a feeling it will bear a different tone than last week, which was filled with euphoria. This week will be filled with more solemnity, as we are counting the nine days leading to the destruction of the second temple -- and the planned destruction of Jewish communities in Gush Katif. Everyday at Gush Katif brings something new -- a new friend, a new experience, a new idea, or a new understanding. I heard that a group of students against the expulsion, the "Orange Cell," had landed in the Gush, illegally of course, and I thought I would become acquainted wit

Read More

Day 2: Shabbat in the Gush II

August 7, 2005

The last time I spent Shabbat in Gush Katif, the topic of Disengagement was a self-imposed taboo; this time it was all the families could talk about. Mothers, fathers, children were all venting their anger, upset, humiliation, suffering, pain, and most of all -- incredulity -- incredulity that the Israeli government could be so cruel and heartless by putting them through such a traumatic ordeal. I entered the home of the family hosting me for the Friday night meal -- it was not a house -- but a home. The home was filled with hundred of plants and paintings and sculptures created by the artist

Read More

Day 1: Infiltrating the Gush

August 5, 2005

After passing through the initial checkpoints leading to the Kissufim Crossing under the pretense that I was a "stupid American" who didn't know Hebrew or current affairs, I smuggled into my friend's car with a fake ID. The male driver told the patroller at Kissufim to cut him a break, and they didn't check me as I pretended to be asleep in the back seat. Entering the Gush Neve Dekalim was just as I left it a month before, during my Shabbat visit. There was no sign of impending doom or disaster -- the trees, the buildings, the roads, were all as they were -- people were walk

Read More

The End of Sanity

June 28, 2005

The orange ribbon was tied neatly around my rearview mirror. Through the mirror I saw the face of an acquaintance in the backseat. I was giving her a ride from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. When she noticed the color of my political views above the dashboard, she offered her own: "We can't live in the midst of our enemy. Disengagement is the only sane thing to do." "I disagree," I said simply, avoiding a political debate I wasn't ready to win fully. I knew I would find out some more truth for myself, that weekend, on my planned trip to Gush Katif. I had to go to the Gush before it was too late. I

Read More