Even before I knew Amona was being bulldozed last week (because the Israeli government was trying to do it in their usual sneaky, underhanded way) I got a phone call from my almost 16 year old asking me if I could send her permission to leave her school for a day.
“Uh, why?” I wanted to know (call me old-fashioned.)
“Mum, they’re destroying Amona, and me and all my friends from Ulpana want to go and protest. The teacher only lets if you say yes.”
As my kid was hanging on the phone waiting for an answer, a picture popped into my head, unbidden, of some black-clad kassamnik from 10 years ago, using a rubber truncheon to whack the heck out a bunch of peaceful teens who were sitting on the floor passively protesting another ‘dismantling’.
For a growing percentage of Israel’s frum community, the love affair with the Israeli police (and the IDF) is firmly over.
For all the amazing Jews who serve their country, both these organisations are ultimately controlled by anti-Torah, unethical, corrupt people who still stop at nothing to achieve their ends.
Including whacking the heck out of peaceful, idealistic teens who happen to be stopping them from doing their ‘job’ of destroying Jewish homes in Eretz Israel.
The last thing I wanted was for my kid to be one of the ones getting whacked and arrested, and I don’t know what else, because like I said, a lot of these people are plain evil and if they weren’t ‘policemen’, they’d be mafia henchmen. (Some of them probably even are.)
So what to do?
The next thought that popped into my head, unbidden, is that really, I can’t stop my daughter from doing what she wants. I like to pretend that I can, but really, I can’t.
So then, I asked God for some guidance, and heard myself telling her that as long as she was going with all her classmates, I let her go to Amona.
As I hung up, not for the first time I felt a little wistful that my family doesn’t fit the more standard ‘chareidi’ mould that frowns sternly on girls marching out on the streets. Both my girls are deeply, sincerely attached to the ‘national religious’ community, and protesting Government injustice is something they both feel very strongly about.
I get very conflicted about this stuff a lot of the time, because I know that all their protesting isn’t going to make any difference, and could just get them in a whole bunch of trouble. But at the same time, I also feel so proud of them that they care enough to put themselves on the line to protest Jewish families being evicted from their homes.
If more of the ‘grown ups’ cared as much about our fellow Jews, maybe things would look different – and much better – in Israel right now.
In the end, God worked things out nicely for both of us: my daughter was too late to ‘break into’ Amona (although she told me later that two her friends had managed to barricade themselves into one of the houses, and were some of the last ‘protesters’ to be taken out by the police).
So instead, her and her classmates joined an impromptu demonstration against the dismantlement in nearby Raanana.
But I’m still left with the question: Does all this stuff make God happy?
For all my pondering, I still really don’t know. For sure, it’s not the Torah way to encourage girls to go out to ‘battle’, in any way, shape or form, for very good reasons.
On the other hand, I know God has to be impressed by the teens’ mesirut Nefesh (self-sacrifice) and commitment to standing up for what they believe to be right. Like I said, those qualities are sadly lacking in today’s world, perhaps especially by the adults who are meant to be leading us forward and setting the example.
One thing I can tell you for sure: sooner or later, one way or another, Israel will be ruled by Torah-true Jews. If it’s not Moshiach, it’s going to be these teens all grown up and ready to vote.
And nothing and no-one will be able to stop it.
After I wrote this, my daughter asked me something else:
“Mum, I’m debating going to Ofra today [where the Government is going to knock down some more Jewish homes]. Do you let me?”
I sighed another deep sigh, and I explained to my daughter that I really don’t think demonstrating is going to help much, because until and unless more of us stop believing in ‘the Government’, and ‘the Likud’ and the ‘Beit Yehudi’ – and start believing in God, instead – these things are just going to keep happening, until we finally get the message.
She agreed…but she also said she feels so bad for the families involved, and wants to help them however she can.
How could I argue against that, really? I told her to ask God to give her the right idea of what to do, and left it at that.
Who is like this people of Yours, Hashem?