Friday, January 5, 1996

An Open Letter from Somewhere

Hebron-Past, Present and Forever
by David Wilder
An Open Letter from Somewhere
January 5, 1996

Dear Shimmy,
Nu, how are you doing in your new job? I’ve been trying to keep track, but it isn’t always possible.
In the past you didn’t take too kindly to my advice. However, the changes have been so drastic that it would be prudent for you to pay attention. Different perspectives allow for changes in opinion, and mine is a prime example.
You know, I determined my priorities according to what I believed to be the good of the Jewish People in Israel. I fully believed in peace, I believed in the ideology we both grew up with. That ideology espouses humanism, without particular concern for traditions, for religious faith, or religous practice. Man is man, land is land - there is no real distinction between peoples or places. Tradition was good for the history books - ancient customs with, seemingly, little true significance in the twentieth century. These values emphasizied the power of man, and diminished, or perhaps even totally negated any Divine element, any Divine influence on our daily lives or on our existance as a people, as a nation. These values permeated our existance, ruled our thoughts and guided our actions. Based on our ideology we set our goal, that of a new Israel. We made a cognative decision to use the peace process as a means to annihilating, as a first step, the religious-zionist ideology preached and practiced by most of the Jewish inhabitants of Yehuda, Shomron and Gazza. Their ideology, as we viewed it, acted as a direct threat to our goals and values. We desired a humanistic Israel - they live for a Jewish Israel. Their lifestyle, their ethics, their ideology directly contradicts ours - they believe that the spiritual essence of life takes precedence over the physical, that ideology must be lived and not only spoken. They teach the role of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, and refuse to compromise. They view the conflict between Jews and Arabs not as political, but rather as religious.
Of course, many of them live religiously observant lives, and claim that this is the ‘true’ Judaism. They refuse, under any circumstances, to succumb to pressures, that would shatter anyone with lesser convictions. Their attachment to three elements of life - Torah, Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael - their determination to prevent any division between these components, their fervor and self-sacrifice, well you know as well as I did, it is much stronger than we could ever have imagined. We fought them - it might even be defined as a war - though not necessarily an armed struggle, but rather a cultural war, which we were determined to win at any price.
Shimmy, I could continue for a long time, for there is much to say, but my time is very limited. So let me just say this: Shimmy, we were wrong. Wrong - wrong -wrong. I see things very differently now, everything is so very clear. And I cannot understand how I was so blind, or how you are still so unseeing - what can I say - we made very grave mistakes. Don’t misunderstand, they aren’t a hundred percent correct, and when their mistakes become clear to them they too will be dumbfounded - but the basic ideology, lifestyle, priorities, - they are right and we are wrong.
Know Shimmy, please recognize, there really is a G-d. He is rightous, merciful, and all-knowing. And the Land of Israel really does belong to the Jewish People - stop all this foolishness with the terrorists, and do it now. For if not, it will cost us dearly. I am not at liberty to reveal the future, in spite of the fact that it is crystal clear - and you too should be able to more or less predict the results of most given alternatives available today. That is a pretty big hint. When you do what you are supposed to do, the Divine intervention is tangable. How were we so blind as to not see it?! Whatever the seeming odds, Israel will be victorious. Israel is eternal and will not be deserted, ever.
And know that Torah Judaism, the traditions and practices, they are much more relevant to our lives than you could possibly conceive. And not only individually, but also to the destiny of our People and to the entire world.
You may think I am exaggerating, but I guarantee you, I am not. It is your responsibility and obligation to change your course of action and that of the State of Israel. It won’t be easy, but we will all be here helping you, however we can. And know Shimmy, if you don’t do it, someone else will. That is assured.
Please, if you never listened to me before - listen now. I know.
Best regards - praying for your repentence,

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