Monday, August 28, 2006

Granting Forgiveness - Gush Katif

Since the summer war has kept me very busy, I haven't blogged at all about last summer's Hitnatukut. Yet, as I type this in my living room (I'm on vacation this week) the Disengagement is still all around us. Totally coincidentally, my daughter is playing with my cellphone now, watching movies she made with it last year of her and her friends in Chomesh as we waited for the IDF to arrive.

Up to the Hitnatkut, we went to Neve Dekalim many times, visted the yishuvim in the Northern Shomron slated for destruction, and even camped out in Chomesh in a tent along with thousands of others to show the world that Chomesh, and all of Eretz Yisrael is dear to us. We left just before the IDF and police showed up to start the forced evacuation, since we had a much more important mission -- helping take care of those thrown out of their homes with no where to go.

However, now is not when I'm going blog my personal experiences from last year -- that will have to wait for another time.

Instead, an interesting question appeared on the "moriya" Jewish Issues website. A Rav was asked about granting forgiveness to Gershon HaCohen, one of the IDF generals directly involved in last year's Disenagegement. One of the slogans after the Disengagment was, "We won't forget, We won't forgive" -- and now, a year later, IDF general Gershon HaCohen was the subject of a report on Channel 10 TV in Israel the other week. When paying a condolence call last week to the bereaved family of a fallen IDF soldier, HaCohen was quoted as saying the following:

"The Disengagment was a crime against the nation of Israel, I was part of that crime and I therefore apologize..."

Rav Amiel, one of the rabbis who participatez in the questions and answers forum on the moriya website answered as follows:

"Of course he should be forgiven! If the forgiveness is asked for sincerely, for all aspects of the crime, then of course he should be forgiven." He added that it's important to ask forgiveness publically, from those evicted from their homes -- specifically the people from Gush Katif, and from Am Yisrael in general."

The IDF spokesman categorically denies any of the statements attributed to General Gershon HaCohen... (taken from the NRG website in Hebrew)

Despite anyone's opinion on the Disengament -- the way it was carried out, and the despicable treatement of those evicted from their homes (which continues to this day) is a sign of moral bankrupcy of the previous government, and those that continue to fail to offer solutions for those families.

I don't think it should surprise anyone how many police investigations are currently ongoing regarding the corrupt/immoral/criminal behaviour of so many of Israel's leaders.

Litvshe adds his 2 agorot:

I have a Never Forget, Never Forgive bumper sticker on my car. I've discussed this issue with my wife and my chevrusa several times. Both are in the נזכור ונחזור (We Will Remember and We Will Return) camp. I'm sorry. I'm not there. Part of the path of repentence (Tshuvah) is making right the damage caused. It's not enough for the theif to be sorry for the fact that he stole goods, nor is it enough for General HaCohen to say that what was done was a horrible mistake and that he personally regrets any part he took in the process. Until all the wrongs are righted, the damage done to the residents of Gush Katif and the Shomron is repaid in full, then there is nothing to talk about. So, as Elul starts and the Yomim HaNoraim approach, let's daven for the Nation as a whole to repent fully for the terrible travesty visited upon the People of Israel by its leaders, assisted by tens of thousands of Jews who closed their hearts to the plight of their brethern and that they find a way to make proper restitution.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Olah Chadasha said...

Yeah, you know, I never knew that asking for forgiveness could be so cleansing. I truly felt as if I needed in order to feel whole again and at peace with my conscience. I am so glad that this is happening, and people are open to be forgiving.

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

Litvishe--What exactly do you think needs to be done by those that participated in the disengagement to repent and earn the forgiveness of those affected (I'm not being sarcastic, I'm curious)? A thief can give back the goods he stole, but I don't think HaCohen can give back the land that was stolen. At least not right now. Going into Gaza, taking the land back by force and resettling it would be political Suicide for Israel. Suicide with a capital S.

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