Dear List, amv"sh
We were there, my husband, daughter and her friend waiting for that bulldozer to arrive.
School was over and camp did not start yet. But I wasn't going to miss this Bulldozer protest since I knew what was at stake. I sent out emails galore to Jewish Media and my entire list. I was sure that there would be a large crowd. So in over 90 degrees weather I went by subway with my 9 year old daughter and her 7 year old friend into Manhattan. I told many of my friends.
As Helen Freedman from Afsi wrote the bulldozer didn't come. But neither did hundreds of thousands of Jews. True the weather was unbearably hot. True it would disrupt the daily routine especially the week everyone was getting ready for camp or the country (Catskills) .
My first reaction was I'm a failure. Nobody reads my emails. I am ignored by all the major Jewish organizations. I am ignored by the Jewish media. Where were our friends like Chabad or Young Israel? After all it's Rabbi Ginsburg's yeshiva who is Chabad. Young Israel has been in constant contact with Od Yosef Chai and sending out alerts of the situation.
Everyone has a decent excuse but collectively there was a poor showing. I debated with myself, maybe activism isn't worth my time, energies and efforts. Surely there are other important items that need my attention as a Mother of 4 children who are all home and back from Israel. But then I said to myself, this silence is a true Chillul Hashem. What is Hashem thinking right now. Truly He must be disappointed in us. Why are His people so Silent? Surely, He must be losing patience. But then I thought about Helen Freedman and all her efforts and I thought of Glenn Richter who was there (The father of Soviet Jewry who was a major force in opening up the Iron Curtain) and the 25 people or so that came, willing to be Moser Nefesh for their brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisroel and all over the world. Hiring that bulldozer and flatbed wasn't free. And I thought to myself that this group is like the courageous Jews in Judea and Samara who are carrying the burden for everyone else.
I concluded. Luckily for the rest of Am Yisroel, Hashem saw us and that we were out there protesting, walking in the very hot son and surely he looked upon us kindly and with understanding and with graciousness and thinking if we are patient with our fellow Jews, have Erech Apayim, one of G-ds' 13 Attributes, believing that one day soon iy"h they too will show publicly that they care about G-ds precious gift Eretz Yisroel, Hashem is hopefully willing to wait a bit more for His people Am Yisroel to wake up.
Again, I beseech the Jewish media to report that emails went out to the major Jewish organizations. Why is this important for you to report this? Major Jewish Organizations are concerned with their image. What get's reported counts. What is in the News creates the News. And we have the potential to stop this destruction in a few days Chas Veshalom.
Dear Media people: The major Jewish Organizations have extensive databases and networks of members, Shuls, Yeshivoth and Rabbanim. Please call their offices and let them know that you want to know why they weren't there at this protest and what they are doing to stop the destruction of this shul and Yeshiva High school. . It is not enough to merely empathize.. Please, journalists, do your hishtadlus, and for the sake of Am Yisroel and peace in the world, do not allow others to hide behind this veil of Silence thereby perpetuating this deafening Silence.
Lenny Solomon's song Rav Zechariah, about Rav Zecharia ben Avkulas, from the album Shlock Rock no limits song item 11 about the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza as I remember the lyrics (not exact)
Rav Zecharia how can you be so blind, had you made the right choices you could have stopped this tragedy Rav Zechariah, your humbleness was profound, this is the reason, the Temple was burnt down.
--------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 5:22 PM
Sent: 6/28/2010 5:10:17 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS VIOLATED IN HALT TO BULLDOZER DEMO
1751 Second Ave, New York, NY 10128
Contact: Helen Freedman, Executive Director
June 28, 2010
FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS VIOLATED IN HALT TO BULLDOZER DEMO
In order to protest the disgraceful demolition plans of the Israeli government for the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, Israel, Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI planned a demonstration for Monday, June 28, in front of the Israeli Consulate on Second Ave. & 42nd Street. We hired a bulldozer on a flatbed to be driven into Manhattan and to be parked in front of the Consulate while demonstrators chanted, waved Israeli and American signs, and carried signs.
It was 92 degrees in New York's summer heat, and 25 stalwart supporters of Americans For a Safe Israel responded to AFSI's call for the demonstration. They assembled across from the Israeli Consulate, on Second Avenue. Israeli and American flags were draped on the barricades. Our signs read: BARAK/BIBI, DO NOT BULLDOZE OD YOSEF CHAI YESHIVA. APPEASING THE ENEMY IS SUICIDAL; BARAK/BIBI – BUILD! DON'T DESTROY JEWISH HOMES, SCHOOLS & SYNAGOGUES; BARAK/BIBI – THE JEWISH STATE MUST NOT DESTROY JEWISH HOMES, SCHOOLS & SYNAGOGUES.
We kept looking up Second Avenue for our truck and bulldozer, as passing cars honked their horns approvingly when they read our signs. The truck and bulldozer never arrived. Jack Ross, our AFSI member, who had cleared the route with all the necessary police personnel, and had been with the truck all the way from Westchester, called to tell us that the police had detained the rig at Second Avenue and 55th Street in order to "inspect" it. It was clear that our truck had been singled out because it was part of our protest. Following the "inspection", we were notified that it had to be "measured." Following that we learned the truck had to be "weighed." As delaying tactic piled one upon the other, a few of us decided to walk up to where the truck was parked. We walked the 13 blocks in the heat, to finally see our truck with the bulldozer on it. Sure enough, it was there, carrying our large signs: BARAK/BIBI – BUILD JEWISH HOMES, SCHOOLS, SYNAGOGUES – DON'T BULLDOZE THEM! APPEASING THE ENEMY WEAKENS ISRAEL; JEWS DON'T DESTROY JEWISH HOLY PLACES! STOP THE DEMOLITION OF YITZHAR SYNAGOGUE IN ISRAEL. We learned that the police had been tracking it from the very beginning of its trip. It was clearly safe enough to be on the highways and bridges of the city so that it was allowed onto the streets of Manhattan. Why it was stopped 13 blocks from its destination is an interesting question. It was clearly not usual police procedure since anyone living anywhere in the vicinity of New York City is aware of the huge amount of truck traffic that uses our roads, bridges, tunnels and streets.
Could the Israeli Consulate have been responsible for preventing the truck and bulldozer from being parked across from their offices? Could there have been an order from Israel's Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, to prevent New Yorkers from knowing the shameful truth about the political cowardice of Barak and PM Bibi Netanyahu for ordering the demolition of a Jewish holy Yeshiva and Synagogue? Will we ever find out the truth about this violation of our First Amendment rights in NYC? Were the police "just following orders", and if so, who had issued them?
This email is L'Ilui Nishmat Yisrael ben David Aryeh ob"m (Izzy - Kaplan) a great activist and lover of Eretz Yisroel, Am Yisroel and the Torah. Yehi Zichrono Baruch.