Day of Judgement
May 28, 1996 We have been waiting for tomorrow for four years. Since Israeli TV commentator Haim Yavine uttered one word, at 10:00 pm, almost four years ago - MAHAPACH! Mahapach, meaning reversal - upset, a change in government. Since that instant we have been waiting for the opportunity to turn the tables upside down - to once again hear that magic word:MAHAPACH! So much has happened - too much to begin to enumerate. But I feel an obligation to mention some of those who, four years ago, were here with us, and now, are not: Mordechai and Shalom Lapid, Raphael Yairi, Nachum Hoss, Yehuda Partush, Hava Wacksberg, Sarit Prigal, Ephraim Iubi, Rav Shimon Biran, Rav Ami Ulami, HY"D. The list isn't inclusive - there are many many more - these are only a few I remember from memory. By right, they, along with hundreds of others, should still be here with us today. But they are not. Tomorrow is a day of Judgement - a Day of Awe. It is a day when the Israeli People must make a choice - one of the most, if not the most, important, critical, fateful decisions made by a public body, a Jewish body, ever. Most decisions are made by a small group of people, in the heat of a crisis. Who decides war or peace, who decides life and death? Usually a few leaders, if not only one - who sits alone, pondering the future of his people, weighing the lives of his soldiers, the fate of his county, of the world. Elections may generally be important, but usually, the outcome, in spite of differences between the candidates, is not earthshattering - it doesn't have an immediate effect on the existence of a People, on the future of a Land. Tomorrow, in Israel, without trying to be overly melodramatic, the truth is, that this is exactly what we are facing. Does this mean that if Peres is reelected 'we are done for?' No - of course not. Nothing or nobody has been able to eradicate the Jewish People and nothing or nobody ever will. Israel is eternal. The prospects for the immediate future will not be easy regardless of the results of the election. If Peres wins, he will continue on his chosen path until the bubble bursts - until the Arabs have so much that even he will have to say stop - and by then it will be too late. The resulting war will be barbaric and bloody, but it will have to be fought and won. And if Bibi wins, - we mustn't live under any illusions. The policies of the last four years have left us with problems that will be very difficult to solve. Last night Faruk Ashara, Syrian Foreign Minister, all but announced a declaration of war should Bibi be elected. Arafat's terrorists have been given thousands of weapons, and they will not hesitate to turn them upon us. The nations of the world, led by the United States, will apply pressure which may be close to unbearable, trying to force a Likud government to continue capitulating to Arafat's demands. That may also lead to war. Don't be surprised, even after a Peres defeat, if he attempts to withdraw the IDF from Hebron, completing the 'long-awaited' redeployment in the city. Legally, until a new government is formed, Peres can do whatever he wants, including abandonment of Hebron. Where does this all lead? Is our future all black? Almost all of the reporters who arrive in Hebron ask me the same question: "What will you do if Peres wins?" There is only one reply: Hebron existed before Peres and Netanyahu. Hebron will continue to exist after Peres and Netanyahu. We are staying in Hebron, regardless of who wins the elections. That is our right and our obligation. "And what if... what if... what if..." There are so many hypothetical possibilities, it is impossible to prepare contingency plans for them all. We hope and pray that most all of them will never materialize, that we will never have to worry about them. And if and when IT should happen - we'll worry about it then. We have to do what we know and believe is right, not for us, but for the Jewish People, of past, present and future. That is, of course, a tremendous responsibility. But if we have been so privileged as to be where we are, when we are, we trust in G-d that He will give us the tools to make the right decisions at the right time. Such it is, not only with Hebron, but with all of Israel - the Land and the People. We don't live in easy times. But we, the citizens of the State of Israel, have been given the privilege to participate in the dream of the Jewish People, to be a part of the return to Israel after a 2,000 year exile. We believe with all our hearts that we weren't brought back here only to be thrown out again - and we won't be. How the dice will fall, how it will all work out, is a great unknown - but in the end, it will work out. There may be different directions to go in, there may be easier routes and more difficult ones, but in the end they all lead to the same place. So tomorrow's Day of Judgement isn't a question of survival or destruction - it is rather the road we will take to ensure our survival - whether it will be easier or harder. We have, to some degree, the possiblity to determine our own future. But regardless of the results we will survive - in Hebron, in Jerusalem and in Eretz Yisrael - forever.