Monday, August 20, 2007

Double your Mitzvah before Ein Kitzvah!

It is unfortunate that sometimes politics and bureaucracy can get in the way of so much in Israel.

Two years ago when the residents of Shirat Hayam in Gush Katif (a town I visited at the time) were forced to leave their homes and communities, they were promised by the government that their community would be able to stay together and build anew elsewhere.

The government and the community even agreed on a location, Maskiot in the Jordan Valley. A site founded by the IDF Nachal Brigade.

However, for the past 2 years, this community has been bounced around like ping pong balls, as the bureaucrats and government, well, act like Israeli bureaucrats with the lives of these people.

Rosh Hashana is approaching. This community has been through so much, and now they find yet another obstacle in their way.

They have no shul to pray in on Rosh Hashanah!

Their needs are small and simple.

They need a caravan where they can sit together in and pray.

A caravan costs $33,000. A sum this community no longer has, as their means and livelihoods have been destroyed, and only now are they able to begin to be able to rebuild their shattered lives and community in Maskiot.

Before Rosh Hashana - Double you Mitzva.

As you buy your seat in shul, please ask your shul if they can donate a part to this community of Shirat Hayam-Maskiot.

On these Days of Judgment, as you sit in shul praying for a good year for yourselves, ask yourself, have you helped this shattered Jewish community get the same opportunity?

And you can directly donate to them any sum (tax deductable) you want. That would help them (and you) a lot.

You can find out more here, or contact their representative, Aviva Harbater at 050-874-3484 or 1-516-515-95-92.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


elchonon said...

33k? why dont they just rent for now ?

JoeSettler said...


Very good question.

Here are the answers, in no particular order

1) They are trying to finally settle down. They want to create for themselves a more permanent situation, and having structures that they own will do so.

2) Maskiot, the area they were given is now divided into two sections. The area they still have permission to build on and live in, and the area they used to have permission to build on and live in.

They are afraid that if they don’t start showing signs of permanence, the government will take away their permission on the area they are still currently allowed to move onto.

It is unfortunate that Amir Peretz woke up one morning with indigestion and decided that half of Maskiot shouldn’t be populated after permission was already granted.

If the residents already have structures there, it will be more difficult for these random curve balls to be thrown at them.

3) Once they build a shul, the caravans will be recycled and reused for other tasks, as needed. It could be anything from a guest house, to a youth center, or anything else.

If they rent, they are just throwing money away.

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