Next year in….´ An open letter to Rahm Emanuel & David Axelrod
March 15, 2010
Nisan 1, 5770, 3/15/2010
Dear Rahm and David,
I'm writing this as I sit and watch, via live internet, the ceremony marking the rededication of the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem, in the area you would classify " east Jerusalem", disputed territory, or perhaps, ' occupied territory' over the 'green line' adjacent to ' Temple Mount.'
Before asking a few questions, I'd like to describe to you several men who took part in tonight's celebration.
First, there is Reuvan 'Ruby' Rivlin, presently speaker of the Knesset. A seventh generation Jerusalemite, Ruby is a 'Rivlin' from both his mother and father's side, descended from both Rebbi Yisrael Ba'al Shem Tov and the Gra, the Gaon, Rebbi Eliyahu from Vilna.
Rivlin, a seasoned politician, had trouble controlling his voice as he
spoke, his words quivering with emotion, as he repeated the words of his great-grandfather, who spoke at the rededication of the destroyed Hurva shul a hundred and fifty years ago.
Also speaking briefly was former Prisoner of Zion, former minister, and present chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, who described how, in 1992, he convinced the entire Israeli government to unanimously approve reconstruction of the Hurva, destroyed by the Jordanians following their occupation of the Jerusalem in 1948.
But the man who most impressed me was David Rabinovitch, an Israeli Russian, who contributed heavily to the renovation of the Hurva. Rubenstein spoke briefly, albeit in Russian, and announced that he and his partners, whose financial fortunes built the Hurva, would participate in rebuilding the nearby Tiferet Yisrael synagogue, also destroyed by the Arabs during the War
of Independence. These men, who grew up without any Jewish background, and who today barely speak Hebrew, are investing their life's fortunes in synagogues, in Jerusalem.
And you, Rahm and David, what are you investing your lives in?
Rahm, it is said that you are the cornerstone of your boss' policy towards Israeland the Middle East. Since this administration took office, you are quoted, time and time again, as forcing a ' two-state solution' on Israel. "Israel now faces a moment of truth - it can either acquiesce to international demands and in return have its most serious threats dealt with, or maintain the status quo and have those threats persist." http://goo.gl/ntPh In other words, Israel's future, as a state, and in large part, the continued existence of the Jewish people, is dependent on Israel 'towing the line,' obeying US policy, and acquiescing to US-Arab terrorist demands.
And David, just a few days ago you publicly turned Israel over your knee and paddled her, saying, "What happened there was an affront,…It was an insult. ... This was not the right way to behave." http://goo.gl/fana This, of course, in reference to the announcement that Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem.
Is this the behavior of two good Jewish boys, who, it is said, love Israel?
Rahm, truthfully it's very difficult to understand your actions. You belong to an orthodox synagogue in Chicago. You grew up in a Jewish home, with a strong affinity to Israel. Your father was born in Jerusalem and your uncle, for whom you were named, was killed by Arabs in Jerusalem. But you still support a position forbidding Jewish building in Jerusalem!?
And David, you too are no stranger to Judaism. Born on the Lower East Side in New York, you always knew you were Jewish. Yet you see fit to push your own people into security situations which jeopardize the continued existence of the Jewish State.
How is it that two men whose lives have always been saturated with Judaism do not comprehend simple truths understood by others who grew up in Soviet Russia, knowing almost nothing about their Jewish roots.? Even your names reflect your Jewish souls: David - dating back to King David - the eternal
King of Israel; and Rahm - meaning 'high,' hinting at the Creator, and in your case, a form of the word Rachamim, meaning mercy. Upon who do you have mercy, Mr. Emanuel? Perhaps both of you should repudiate your names, changing them, as did Hellenistic Jews in Israel during the time of Greek occupation of Israel. How can you carry such " Jewish names' yet, at the same
time, assist in pushing your people to the brink?
I have one other question for both of you men. Tonight marks the first day of the new month of Nisan, the month of Geula, of redemption from Egypt. In exactly two weeks we will begin the Passover holiday, commencing with the Seder, the first Pesach meal, when we relate the story of the Jews' Exodus from Egypt.
It is said that last year, both of you were invited to the President's
Passover Seder, but skipped it, preferring to eat Matza with your families, at home. Very touching. But why?
What I really want to know is not how you begin your family Seder, rather, how you end it. Normally, Jews finish the night's ceremony declaring " Next year in Jerusalem" or Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem."
Rahm Emanual and David Axelrod:
DO YOU RECITE THESE WORDS AT YOUR FAMILY TABLE;
IF SO, DO YOU MEAN WHAT YOU SAY, OR JUST REPEAT THE WORDS FOR CUSTOM'S SAKE;
AND WOULD YOU DARE RECITE THESE WORDS IN PUBLIC, WORDS MOUTHED BY JEWS FOR CENTURIES, AS THEY WERE TORTURED AND BURNED AT THE STAKE, OR SENT TO SIBERIA TO DIE, FOR DARING TO REPEAT THE FUNDAMENTAL TENET OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE?
EXACTLY HOW DO YOU SAY IT? NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM,
NEXT YEAR IN [OCCUPIED?], [DISPUTED?], [CONQUERED?], [ARAB?] JERUSALEM?
Isn't it time you left the White House and came home to your real home, in Israel, in Jerusalem where you too can stand proudly at the Kotel and recite, as Jews have for eternity "Next year in [Jewish] Jerusalem".