For the past few days the children of Kfar Darom have been working all day to
eat all of the “Chamatz” (leavened wheat products) which accumulated over the past
mouths, especially during Purim. Tonight, half an hour after “Bedikat Chametz”
checking to make sure that everything is “Chamatz” free, we too (along with our
neighbors) are trying to finish our remaining bread, pastas and pretzels.
Earlier this evening, during all of the pre-Passover turmoil, someone came over
the communIty’s loud speaker and advised all of the residents to stay in their homes.
There was a threat of mortar shellLattacks on the communities of Gush Katif. While
harkening to the warning, the families continued busily preparing for the holiday.
Over a mouth ago when for the first time mortars fell on Nezarim (Gush Katif’s
most northern community) everyone was shocked. Rapidly the situation has deteriorated
from the Arabs throwing stones to shooting and laying roadside bombs and now firing
mortars at us. With each attack we were sure that such an outrageous act of violence
by the Arabs would not be passed an silently. Yet still the situation gets worse …
Several days ago I travelled to Hebron to pay my condolences to a friend whose
10 month old baby,Shalhevet Pass, was murdered by an Arab sniper. During the bus ride
to Hebron I happened to hear the 3:00 news. A lump grew in my throat when I heard that
a baby was severly wounded by shrapnel from mortars that fell near him in Atzmona. Atzmona
is a quiet community deep inside Gush Katif. The Arabs succeeded in. firing four mortars
into the community. And now, another baby was in critical condition with head and
spinal cord injuries and more. How could T comfort my friend? What words could I say
to ease her pain, with the knowledge that another mother was crying over her baby. one
can only be comforted when evil is destroyed and goodness prevails. Yet, we are still
trying to prove to the world that we are the “good guys” and that the Arabs, who murder
innocent babies, are the bad guys.
When I returned home late that evening I received a greeting card. The letter
which was sent to each family wished the residents of Kfar Darom a happy Passover and
included many other beautiful blessings. With a new spark in my eyes I read it again.
Although over the past several months we have received many letters, this one was
special. It was from the head officer of the soldiers who are guarding Kfar Darom.
The soldiers guarding us know the difference between good and evil. In-the end our people
will re-unite and good will prevail.
Now our home sparkles clean ready for the holiday. The children are still running
around finishing their last crumbs, and the mothers are frantically decrumbing them
each time they walk in and out of their homes. Soon we will sit around the seder
table (this year on mattresses on the floor as in the time of the Temple) and my
husband’s youngest sister will ask the four questions. We will talk all night about
the Jews leaving Egypt and becoming a free people. Under the stars of Kfar Darom we
will sing songs of praise and joy about our past and pray once again for freedom for
our people held captive in Arab lands.