Blog

Day 7: The Limits of Friendship

August 12, 2005

I cried for the first time today since I've been here. It wasn't because I imagined cute little Israeli kids being torn from their parents; it wasn't because women in wheelchairs will be begging officers to leave them alone; it wasn't because synagogues and Jewish graves will be plundered; it wasn't because I was warned seriously that police might hit me, even though that made me scared as hell. It was because my friends couldn't give a shit. I decided I would call them and ask them to do something to help me. I asked one of them, who actually supported our struggle, to simply forward my t

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Day 6: Yellow Yankees

August 10, 2005

Gush Katif had a pleasant surprise today, like a bucket of sunshine. Men and women wearing bright yellow shirts with black letters "Americans Against the Expulsion of Jews" somehow managed to get in. The ingathering of exiles has begun. There were about 25 of them from different states: New York, New Jersey, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, of all streams and religions: reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Chabad, and Christian. Some were down-to-earth professionals, while others were down right cooky. But all of them decided that they could not sit at home and watch TV while th

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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

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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

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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

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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

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