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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A MUST-READ

Dear Palestinian Authority, Islamic Jihad, Chamas, Syria, Hizbollah, Bin Laden
and all other parties interested in destroying me:

A short time ago, in the Gaza region, you blew up a close friend of mine,
Noam Bahagon, 20, from the small Israeli town of Elqana. Bagi (that was our
nickname for Noam) and his three co- tankists (their friends probably had
nicknames for them, too) ran over one of your landmines and they exploded.
Bagi was my Chevruta in Yeshivat Otniel. A Chevruta is a study partner- like
a lab partner, only if lab partners study together for a couple of hours a
week, Bagi and I studied- learned- bonded- grew together for three hours a
day, five days a week.

I'm without family in Israel, and Bagi was one of the most important people
for me here. He was patient with me when we learned together, explaining
things when I didn't understand. He took it upon himself to make me feel
cared about in my new home. He was so full of love, and wanted so badly to
transmit that love to other people. He gave these huge bear hugs- he would
hug me so hard that my head would almost be squeezed off.

Since he sounds like such a great person, I'm sure you're extra happy that
he was one of those that you have taken. I've never cried so much in such a
short time. I've never seen so many people cry so much in such a short time.
And I'm not the first to lose such a close friend. I'm not the second, the
tenth or the four hundredth. You guys are pretty efficient when it comes to
killing good people.

Bagi was a soldier, killed in battle, but as we all know, an overwhelming
percentage of those that you have murdered has been murdered in terrorist
attacks, bombs, shootings and the like.

I want to say, that I very much respect your new strategy at destroying
Israel. Too many times, y'all tried to erase us in military battles. In
1948, you attacked us at a ratio of 5000 Arab soldiers to one Israeli
soldier and lost. In '56 and '67 you tried to intimidate us and lost. And
even in '73, when you attacked us on Yom Kippur, our holiest day of the
year, when you knew that we wouldn't expect even evil armies like yours to
strike- you lost again. We just beat you time and time again, thank God.
It's about time that you have realized that our God-driven army is simply
stronger than yours.

So now you have chosen a new game plan. Instead of attacking our army, you
have decided to attack our society. You spend your time shooting, not only
at green jeeps, but also at white, red and brown Subarus and Peugeots. In
addition to tanks, you blow up buses, discos and malls. You seek to break
not our military strength, but our psychological strength, our emotional
strength. You think that you can bomb and mortar our way into submission.
You believe that you can demoralize us and make us give you whatever you
want. This "Intifada" is not a brawl against the soldiers of Tzahal. It is a
war, still with the ever so altruistic goal of making Israel disappear. But
this time, all citizens of Israel have been forced to become soldiers. You
wish to kill nice, sweet children- if possible with their moms. Good for you
and your new and improved tactic at finally putting an end to the Zionist
monster. As we say in Hebrew, Kol Hakavod.

Well.. Sorry, this won't work either. You will lose again, and let me tell
you why.

You see, in a standard war, when a regular army seeks to destroy an enemy
army, he must study that enemy army to the barest detail. The attacking army
must learn about enemy strategies, weapons and vehicles. It must know when
the enemy likes to attack and when it rests. It must know how to recognize
its enemy and the look that enemy has in its' eyes. All this and much more
thorough research is obviously necessary if a general hopes to win his
upcoming battle.

I don't doubt that in your new, "Destruction of Israel by Demoralization"
strategy, you have done your homework. I know that you are well aware of all
the ins and outs of Israel's society. I know you know each and every back
and side entrance to every Israeli mall. I know you know our bus schedule so
that you can make sure that the right people, kids of course, are killed on
their way to school. I know that you have trained your troops, your children,
your pride and joy, in the art of throwing rocks really far. You have taught
them well, the true and deep meaning of being a martyr, dying at the age of
11 in an attempt to kill an old Jewish lady. You know how to dress up as our
soldiers and at times outsmart our guards. Often you even look strikingly
similar to us.

Enemy of mine, there is one area of Israeli society, or the Israeli people,
though, where you have failed to look. You have acquired the highest of
technology's far- sight spying devices to look deep into every aspect of our
lives so as to destroy us. But the most advanced telescope in the world is
not nearly powerful enough to look into the Jewish soul. You have overlooked
what lies beneath the buses and the malls. You know nothing of the
invincible spirit you are trying to break.

My spirit, our spirit, is one that has lasted thousands of years without
being broken. We have survived enemies crueler and badder and smarter than
you. And just like them- you will disappear and with the help of God, we
will survive. We are a people who have cried more tears than you can imagine
and each time we get up stronger than the time before. Now God has returned
us home. Try as you might, we're not going anywhere.

For a long time, Islamic Jihad, you collected information on my Yeshiva,
Otniel, located in the Hebron Hills (This information was shown to us by the
army. They found it when they broke into one of your terrorist cells). Sure
enough, one Shabbat, two of your men broke into the Yeshiva kitchen, and
murdered the four students who were in the midst of serving the Friday night
meal. While the rest of the students and their guests were in the middle of
the Shabbos singing and dancing, you massacred my friends. You tried to
break the spirit of my Otniel. You thought that maybe we would leave. At
least we would maybe be scared or feel defeated.

I wish with all my heart that you would see us dancing on Shabbat now. I
pray that you sat in your house with your all- powerful binoculars and
stared at us singing with all the happiness in the world, singing and
dancing and jumping up and down with a student newly engaged to be married-
inside that very same kitchen that had been the scene of your terror. Break
us? You're harmless. We still learn and we still pray. Believe me, we cry,
but we are still strong- we're stronger than ever.

Have you noticed the tremendous amount of students, flowing into Ben Gurion
airport, coming for their "Birthright" trips? Do you have any idea how many
kids are coming to Israel to study in Yeshiva or work on Kibbutz??! They
come in hundreds. In thousands. Whether to learn, to work, or just to see,
more and more remain, join the army, continue on in college and eventually
make Aliyah. We are happy and smiling and excited and motivated to put our
mark on Israeli society and we refuse to bow before anyone who believes that
we have no right to be here. We American Jews will continue making Aliyah,
because we love our nation, our homeland, our Torah and our God.

I urge you to visit the Kotel, the Western Wall one morning, and see how
packed it still is. Take a trip up north to see Israeli kids hiking and
swimming in Israel's beautiful mountains and their springs. Try getting on a
bus in mid- town Tel- Aviv. You won't get a seat. They're too full. Aren't
your bus bombings supposed to scare us off the buses??

You hate. You are passionate and emotional in how much you hate. But your
hate will never be strong enough to dim the love that we have inside of us.
Our mission is one of peace and we don't compromise that mission. If you
want war- we will fight you in the name of God and His peace.

Every Shabbos and holiday, before our Grace after meals, "Birkat Hamazon,"
we recite psalm 126, "Shir Hamaalot," "A Song of Ascents." We read the
words, "Hazorim bedimah- Berinah yiktzoru." "Those who tearfully sow- will
reap in glad song." The obvious meaning is that he who is able to survive
pain will eventually experience joy. Reb Shlomo Carlebach has another
interpretation of the verse.

Reb Shlomo says, the verse should be read like this: "Hazorim bedimah
berinah- Yiktzoru." Those who are able to sow together their tears and their
joy- they are the ones who reap. We must combine our tears and our joy.
This, my enemy, is our calling and obligation. We have done it for so so
long, and we continue to do it now. It is this blessing that makes us dance
in the very same kitchen where you murdered our peers. It is this that
motivates me to dance on Purim one month after Bagi, my very close friend,
he who watched over me and taught me- was killed. I wasn't any less happy
this Purim.

I want you to know that. I'm no less happy. Like I've said, I cry much more-
But you have simply taken nothing from my constant joy in being a Jew, in
serving God, at being alive.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Netzach yisrael lo yishaker?" It means,
"The eternity of Israel will not lie." Our everlasting existence is simply
not denied. It is forever. You cannot derail us from our God- given job to
bring peace to the world.

I sign this letter now, enemy of mine, "Love." It's not necessarily that I
love you. I very much believe that somewhere there is a piece of me that
does love a piece of you. This, though, is more of a general statement of
love. It's a love that stems naturally from my Jewish soul. It's that love
which makes me smile more, dance more and live more.

It is this love that no hate can destroy.

Love,
Yannai Kranzler


(I want it to be clear- I think it's important to say, that this letter is very much NOT addressed to all Arabs. I am not one who believes, God forbid, that all Arabs are bad or evil. I don't believe that the Palestinians are today's "Amalek" or any of that nonsense. I address this to evil leaders who pervert the minds of their people and their people's children.

I wrote this so that we, the Jewish people might understand the extensions of our actions.

Like I said, this is a war to get rid of us by destroying our morale. Therefore, our response must be to show that our morale won't be broken. Every time we do Mitzvoth, every time we sing, dance, go to work- if we discover some cool new chemistry thing or a cure to some disease. Every Oleh Chadash (!!), every sign of national unity, every rally, every trip to Israel. Every hike in the Golan, every new student in Yeshiva, every time we get on a bus, every time we barbecue, pick up a hockey stick or just go for a quick skate- every sign of life that we show- this is what will, B'ezrat Hashem, win us this war and continue us on our un-surrenduring mission of bringing the world the light and peace it so deserves.

If y'all want to respond, criticize, whatever, you can send comments to puc24k@aol.com. Thanks and a happy day to you!)
from A Nice Jewish Boy's Weblog via my friend Jon Blum.