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April 9, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 9, 2004

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~H~-RITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 9, ~ PAGE 5 I i I I By Jonathan S. Tobin For good or for ill, all par- ents have the chance to incul- cate in their children their own i liefs. Though none of us can certain what ideas they will wind up accepting .as adults, one inalienable right of every , father and mother is to start getting inside their kid's head as SOon as possible. fa proving this thesis is the that although my daeU, gmh; terMoriah is notyet tt . tto Wife and I are doing our bes c teach her to recite at east the ",un ,or: -ts'!ne of the Four Ques- Passover. We were encouraged in this quest by her own spontaneous rp iy/tation of the Sh'ma while ng with the small figures who live in her dollhouse. S.ince she regularly joins i!m singing the prayer that e has heard every night of young life before bed, she assumed that the sam hrhOeUn tree applied to her eO iS some they are put to b uite a thing that can happenuqe has lot When the dollho [ gath m and assuring them the p t Yt ill get to "go see L morrow. Hearing her small voice chant the Prayer is l Otonlyaprofoundly sme v ng experience, it also L incitement to fur- o uc ional efforts, there snowayofknow- ing how long she'll continue to humor us. So the refrain of Ma nishtanah continues to ring out in our home, and we hope for the best. A voyage into history. These precious moments are the stuff every parent cherishes. Yet even on this simple level, the beginning of Moriah's Jewish education with these lines from the Haggadah must also be recognized as the first step in her own voyage into Jewish history. Because to ask the question about why that night is different from all others is to initiate her, albeit on an elementary level, into the con- stant struggle for life and lib- erty of the Jewish people that the seder represents. At the core of this voyage is a desire to preserve her and all Jewish children from the suf- fering that befell the Children of Israel in Egypt, and in so many other stops along the way in our people's long jour- ney. As much as we enjoy Pass- over and make it a joyous fes- tival, this celebration of our freedom is also a tacit acknowledgement that a darker side to life lurks in the shadows. It will be some time before she understands the meaning of the line: "For not only one enemy has risen against us; in every generation men rise against us to destroy us, but the Holy One saves us from their hand." But that day of Bp Leslie Susser JI RUSALEM JTA-- statepr^ ( ) The a usecutor s recommen- '~uon to indict Ariel Shar n on bribe o - 'Y cnarges came"ust the Israeli prime minister was Putting the fl tou . . "nishin g ithd s.on ",s plan for Israeli =wal. from th trin e Gaza Bank parts of the West rney General decides to it could mean not only of Sharon's but of the would alter contours of the conflict. Sharon almost succes- drop the from the meantime, until up his mind-- up to two will find it garner American for his :plan whi]'e under criminal wrong- ,'normous ".Prosecution's rec- not binding, r from certain that it. say the case as "problem- rline."Sharon confidants say they are con- vinced that, when it comes to the crunch--with tenuous evidence able to determine a prime minister's political fu- ture Mazuz will not indict. Sharon is suspected of re- ceiving hundreds of thousands of dollars through his son Gilad from Likud activist and millionaire contractor David Appel for helping to promote Appers real estate interests in Greece and the central Israeli city of Loci. Appel already has been charged with giving a bribe. Now Mazuz must decide whether Sharon was aware that he was receiving one and whether there is enough evi- dence to make a charge stick against the prime minister. In the meantime, Sharon is a prime minister under a cloud and something of a lame duck. Before the indictment rec- ommendation, Sharon was working hard to move his dis- engagement plan forward. He was close to tying up a deal with the Bush administration for American support; he had just made bold movesagainst Hamas to facilitate Palestinian Author- ity control of Gaza after an Is- raeli withdrawal; and he was hoping to use those two factors towin support in his own Likud Party, where right-wingers, in- cluding some prominent Cabi- net ministers, have been highly critical of the plan. Sharon also was covering understanding will come, and then, like all other parents, we will be faced with the dilemma of how to explain to her about evil and suffering that's not simply the stuff of Disney vil- lains. And not far from our minds is the fact that other children, who are not so fortunate as ours, are learning about the consequences of evil firsthand. While we sit down at our family seder, other kids, some the same age as Moriah, will come to their tables still dressed in the bandages that cover grievous wounds caused by terrorist bombs and bul- lets. Still other Jewish children will look around their tables and seek in vain the faces of beloved parents and relatives who are no longer there, thanks to the mindless hatred of terrorists sent forth by present-day Islamic Pharaoh . These creatures with hardened hearts from Humus and Fatah send Palestinians forth to kill and be killed in an endless war, whose purpose seems no different from that of the Egyp- tians of the Exodus saga. Even worse is the knowl- edge that, as we hopefully sing of our gratitude for all that God has done for our ances- tors and for us, other young- sters will be learning different lessons What, for example, was young Hussam Abdu, age 16 his coalition bases. He was close to cutting a deal with the opposition Labor Party for its 19 Knesset members to join the coalition if the 13 legisla- tors from the right-wing Na- tional Union bloc and National Religious Party bolted over the disengagement plan. Now, it will be hard for Sharon to tie up all the loose ends. He might not even be able to get Cabinet approval for the plan: Eleven of 23 Cabi- net ministers expressed their opposition before the indict- ment recommendation, and others may now come out against the weakened prime minister and tip the balance against him. Labor will stay out of the coalition as long as Sharon remains under a cloud, and party leaders like Avraham Burg, who oppose any alliance with Sharon, will have a stron- ger case. In addition, when Sharon flies to Washington for a key April 14 meeting with Presi- dent Bush, U.S. officials are less likely to make formal corn - mitments to a man who could be out of office within weeks. The fiercest challenge to Sharon, though, will come from the right. Indeed, lead- ers of the National Union, the National Religious Party and the Yesha settlers' council are hoping to utilize Sharon's plight to scuttle the disengage- ment idea. (or 14, according to the boy himself), taught? Abduwas the teenager from Nabluswhowas stopped last week at anIsraeli checkpoint near his home- town. When challenged by sol- diers who thought his bulky sweater looked suspicious, he lost his nerve and revealed a bomb. I cannot imagine what sort of education or faith can lead an adult to strap 20 pounds of explosives to a child, and then point him in the direction of the nearest Jew with instruc- tions to press the button. Abdu was not the first ex- ample of this barbarous sacri- fice of a child for a cause; ear- lier last month, another even younger Palestinian child -- an 11 -year-old boy--was simi- larly given a few shekels and then wrapped in a suicide- bomber's kit. Arab armies and adult terrorists have failed to break the will of the Jews of Israel to survive. So now, these cowards send forth their chil- dren to explode themselves. Human sacrifice revived. The story of the Exodus lists the tenth and last plague vis- ited upon the obdurate slavemasters as the slaying of the first-born sons of Egypt. The Jewish slaves were in- structed to mark their homes with the blood of a lamb and so be spared. But today, the Angel of See "Tobin" on page 16 They hope that if the prime minister is replaced, his suc- cessor will shelve a plan that entails the dismantling of nearly all the Jewish settle- ments in the Gaza Strip and at least six in the West Bank. If Sharon is forced to re- sign, Likud insiders say he probably would be succeeded by Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has shown little enthusiasm for the dis- engagement plan. By Israeli law, the resigna- tion of a prime minister does not necessarily trigger a gen- eral election. Sixty-one Knesset members can propose an alternative candidate, and the president can confer on him the task of forming a new government. Though Industry and Trade Minister Ehud OImert, who backs the disengagement plan, and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, who does not, may mount leadership challenges, most Likud insiders believe Netanyahu would win the party nomination easily. But what Netanyahu does about disengagement is not a foregone conclusion, and the right-wingers may be disap- pointed. Despite his criticism of the plan, Netanyahu is leaving his options open. Rather than re- jecting it outright, he has laid down three conditions for sup- See "Susser" on page 16 AMD TRIC 'ERY oF "n4E Or R r r i TALE NG ABOUT I /ISRAELI$ oR/ ~.mrdr,lhc~ mm Rabbinical Thoughts Judaism makes demands By Rabbi R. J. Adler Mishnah, the text of "Pirkei Avot" is simple both in lan- Judaism makes no prom- guage and in content. ises, salvation or other gifts, "The Sayings of the Fathers" without our personal efforts begins with a brief Jewish his- and contributions. The Bible tory of Torah and Rabbinic gives examples and its laws teachers to the end of the demand certain actions or Mishnaic period and the de- prohibitions to conform to a struction of the Second divine set of directions be- Temple by the Romans about iieved to have come to us 70 C.E. The popularity of the through Moses on Mr. Sinai. "Pirkei Avot" tractate is indi- The Rabbis called all laws catedbythemanytranslations Halachah and added manyin almost every language, so more of their own, usually to that it became the most popu- protecttheTorahlaws.Athird lar Mishnah tractate of all. type of rabbinic instruction, Moreover, its influence on called Musar, tried to raise Jews and Judaism has been the level of obedience and without equal. It encouraged observance of the law to that our people not only to live by of Holiness. Originally, itwas the Torah, Mishnah and Tal- a code of ethics for the Rabbis mud but also to strive to live a and leadersoflsrael in charge holy life like the Kohanim and of teaching Torah and lead- a Holy People and like the Fa- ing religious courts in the thers of Judaism, the Rabbis, country. Later on, they de- Teachers of Israel and the tided that since all Israel is moral leaders of our people, called a Holy People, it would the Avot, whose Mishnah they be proper to make the same were studying all year round. demands for all Israel. They Finally, let me recommend codified these lofty morals, reading"PirkeiAvot"between inner spiritual life, faith in Pesach and Rosh Hashanah, God and wisdom in "Pirkei and visiting our class at Ohev Avot" ("Sayings of the Fa- ShalomeveryWednesdayfrom thers"),aMishnah tractate in 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. theorderofNezikin.TheRab- Rabbi Joseph Telushkin bis taught love, brotherhood, gives a brief summary of some honesty, justice, peace, and of the challenging sayings of Jewish unity and the volume "Pirkei Avot"- "Say little and became very popular both do much. Don't say, 'I will with the learned and not so study when I have time,' lest well educated. It was recom- you never find the time.A per- mended that "Pirkei Avot" be son who is too shy to ask ques- studied at home and at the tions will never learn, and a Synagogue, especially be- teacher who is too strict can- tween Pesach and Rosh not teach. Who is wise? He Hashanah.Manyofourpeople who learns from every man. It memorized many passagesis not your responsibility to and some wrote commentar- finish the work of perfecting ies. Compared to the other theworld, but you are not free texts of the six orders of the to desist from it either." noring the real source the values and civilization. We do from page 4 preaching of blind hatred and not have the time to redeem a death in the name of religion, generation whose "hearts and And you Ahmed aI-Rantisi, the new minds" have already been poi- overly head of Humus, put it suc- soned. eliminating cinctly: "God declared war In this regard one recalls lg against America, Bush and President Lyndon Johnson's and Sharon." solution on how towin over Israel faces Jew-hatred and your enemies. "If you've got as a means of ig- the U.S. faces hatred of our them by the s (i.e two particularly sensitive parts), At this juncture we must andourlsraelifriendsarewill. theirheartsandmindsaresure not hesitate to give war a ing to face up to this harsh to follow." What also follows chance. Our peace terms realityandactaccordingly, the from the Johnson dictum is should be unconditional sur- future we all face will be bleak thatweareinasituationwhere render.Yousimplycannotne- indeed. the application of deadly force gotiate meaningfully with Morrie Amitay is a former toterroristsisoneanswer, and thosewhowantyoudead.You Executive Director of AIPAC the threat of armed force cannot pursue a "peace pro- and founder of the pro-Israel againstnationsaidingandabet- cess'withthosewhowantyou Washington PAC tingtheseterroristsistheother, to disappear. Unless both we (