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Many of you have written to me why I don't update any more on what is happening with me and my Gush Katif community, that your shoulder is there for me. Erev Tisha B'Av, before the national day of mourning is definitely a most appropriate day to do so.
It is more than two thousand years since God's place in Jerusalem was demolished. More than two thousand years since Jews were dispersed to exile.
It is exactly two years since we were expelled from Gush Katif.
Most of us arrived there as young couples. Many of the old timers today had some of their children born in Netzer Hazani, my town, the first of the towns in Gush Katif
Our children grew up sliding down the sand dunes and then, a few years older, surfing in the sea.
Their lives were filled with an atmosphere that they were doing the right thing, that we were accomplishing something that is good for our dear State of Israel and a blessing from God was now on the land/
All was demolished to rubble and now the rubble is again covered with sand...
It is as if our homes never existed, it is as if our farms never existed, it is as if all that was accomplished in Netzer Hazani, in Gush Katif over the thirty years never was.
Two years ago is too close in time to be history.
All that was in Gush Katif is not yet the past.
No past, no future = an insecure present?
I was so certain that after the destruction we would immediately be enabled to build anew so that the spirit values and communities would be preserved and rejuvenated in the new communities.
It was in everyone's interest. It was important for the faith of the People of Israel in the future of the State and Land of Israel
This has not happened -- the future is not yet in clear view
Two years later we have only managed to accomplish surviving in the womb of a question mark ?
I am no longer rising early to manage my agro-business in Gush Katif, bending to pick fast so my employees will keep up with my pace.
I no longer hastily move the wagon of perfectly packed boxes of bagged celery to ensure the chain of refrigeration and a perfectly fresh product for our buyers.
I no longer make my daily route in an out of every other row in every greenhouse to make sure all is as should be and using this time for breathing deeply the intoxicating odor of the fresh vegetables and thinking and sometimes singing out loud Hodu L'Hashem ki tov -- thanks God, you are the greatest!
Today I still wake up at sunrise; a habit of years isn't easily broken. Now, though, I force myself to stay in bed a bit longer to fill in for the late nights out speaking about what happened.
I think a moment and thank Hashem for all I do have, You are the Greatest!
Many days I sit for hours in front of my faithful friend -- one of the few things I still have from back home -- my laptop.
That is what I took out with me when all others took a backpack of clothes for that first weekend after we were expelled from our homes, prior to their destruction.
Surely after the weekend in the guesthouse in Hispin, in the Golan -- (the spur of the moment "solution" ) -- we would discover what was the real "solution for every citizen " that the government leadership had planned for us before they forced us out.
My laptop served me well as my connection with you, so caring feeling people, in such challenging times.
So we just bought a used electric walking machine. After a lifetime of constantly moving lifting doing physically, two years of sitting so much feels lousy.
I really feel just right on that walking machine -- it fits our present situation perfectly.
On this walking machine I extend endless energies to move forward and no matter how hard I try and how much effort I exert I always end up in the same place. Yes this is just appropriate for now -this is what our community feels like today.
All our efforts to build anew, our efforts to keep our community together, to keep our children and youth healthy -- all the efforts and we are in the same place we were two years ago -- one big question mark.(?)
The great comfort is that it keeps you in shape -- you can't give up if you hope to keep in shape!
Everyone who visits us in the temporary caravilla (trailer caravan with red roof) site asks the same question. If things are so bad -- how is it that everyone is smiling and seems so calm?
People ask me why people are still smiling. Why have people fixed up their temporary small caravillas so beautifully. Why have they planted trees and flowers in your gardens if you are to move?
I say because we are flowing with Hashem. It is exactly like going tubing on the river (Abuvim in Hebrew) that my kids schlepped me to once.
You sit on this rubber inner tube of a tire and the flow of the river pushes you here and there and I found it very scary -- the more I struggled, the more the big sudden rocks below stabbed into my backside, eventually turning me over when Suddenly viewed the giant waterfall in sight ahead.
Some passerby yelled at me get back on quickly, breath deeply into your stomach and relax -- you'll flow with the river and easily glide down the waterfall. Then she yelled as am afterthought -- It is worth it -- the scenery view at the other end is absolutely astounding -- and worth it -- just flow with the river.
She was absolutely right it was easy when you relaxed and didn't struggle too hard, but flowed with the river -- the view at the end was worth every moment of suffering.
So that is the explanation.
The people in my Netzer Hazani community and many others are flowing with Hakadosh Baruch Hu, with God -- trying to avoid being hurt too hard by the obstacles on the way, but certain that the good times ahead Hakadosh Baruch Hu promised via the Prophets will yet be.
So my friends you ask -- what happened to optimistic Anita Tucker -- here I stand near Har Hatzofim, Mt. Scopus just as those Talmudic scholars Rav Yehoshua and his colleagues and Rabbi Akiva and they look towards the temple mount at the ruins and see foxes roaming there -- the other scholars all cry as it symbolized the complete defilement of the Temple mount -- while Rabbi Akiva smiles happily optimistic that as the prophesies of destruction were realized so the prophesies of rebuilding and good beautiful times would be realized.
All of them were great scholars so apparently both approaches have their place.
I am certain that you and I are the students of Rabbi Akiva.
The plans for our future town to be built have been approved by all the authorities. Government funds have been approved. The government will use our compensation on land to buy part of the new land.
After endless struggling, pressuring, frustrations and setbacks all finally seemed to moving forward. Now we have been told, forget it, to have the contract finalized and to actually realize the dream, our community must now lay out several million shekels on our own.
The fact that we have no source of such funds doesn't seem to bother anyone responsible to complete the land purchase, the infrastructure costs and to complete the synagogues and youth community centers as they stood in Netzer Hazani in Gush Katif..
Yes, my friends, we are the students of Rabbi Akiva and in the worst of times we know that good times are ahead and God's honor will be upheld!
I am certain that all the beautiful caring people whom I have been privileged to have met in person, via the emails, via the support, via the many groups I have spoke with ----- feel intensely the pain and the shame of the People of Israel and of the Land of Israel.
You are certainly smiling and saying" we are there with you, Anita, and with Netzer Hazani -- we have followed your every stage in these two years have been there for you when we could only cry, while we helped you hold your community and youth together for the future community and now too we will be there with you and your Netzer Hazani, Gush Katif community".
It will be built anew!!!
It will give forth light and flourish!!!
All this until that promised future day comes when are youth, with regained strength, can again return to the sand dunes of Gush Katif and again God will certainly enable us to make it flourish and blossom anew !!!
Yes, fellow disciples of Rabbi Akiva -- I know you are there.
Thanks for listening so patiently,
Anita Tucker can be contacted by phone at 054-7775268 and by email at
Anita Tucker can be contacted by phone at 054-7775268 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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