I saw them for the first time early yesterday morning. They have never left me ever since. They belonged to a beautiful, very young and nameless boy. They seemed to be begging me, pleading with me to come and take him, snatch him away from the act of insanity that was about to consume him, one he had no control over.
I saw them at the Ra’anana Sports Center. There, members of the Jehovah Witnesses were planning a mass baptism for new arrivals into their group.
What was I doing there?
I was on the other side of the fence that the police erected. I was on the other side of the line of policemen and dogs that separated between the Metro West high school grounds and the Sports Center. I was with the “silent majority.” I stood there along with hundreds of other Jews who came to pray on Shabbat morning in protest of what we all considered a travesty, a deliberate effort to steal Jewish souls to Christianity.
“It is not the first time that this happened,” Oria Amrani, a fellow member of the “silent majority,” told me. “It has happened before. We have allowed it,” she added in a solemn tone.
I decided to approach one of the police officers and asked him if I could come close to some of those who were making their way into the Sports Center. I wanted to know why they were there on the wrong side of the fence and I was hoping to perhaps dissuade some of them from entering. I was not allowed.
“They can stop me from approaching them but they cannot stop me from talking to them,” I told Oria. I called out to some. They ignored me. Others gave me a side look insinuating that I am a nuisance and proceeded to the Sports hall.
“Look there!”, I suddenly heard Oria shouting. I froze in my place. Entering the gate, I saw an old man with a walking cane in one hand. In the other, he was holding the small fragile hand of a young boy no more than six, I would guess. The boy’s big brown eyes were staring at me, locking into mine as if trying to send me a secret, a coded message.
“Young boy,” I called out to him, “Is your grandfather a Holocaust survivor?” The boy moved his head to indicate that he was not while keeping his gaze at me. He understood me. He spoke Hebrew.
“Come back,” I called him, “Come home, we love you. We will always be here for you.” He stopped for a brief second without ever taking his eyes off me. He stood there as if deliberating his next move. That stop, however, was short lived. His grandfather pulled him inside leaving me forlorn, lost and empty. That is when I broke down and started to cry like a child.
I guess I would never know what went through his head in those last moments before he crossed the threshold into the abyss that would mark his spiritual Jewish extinction. I guess I would never see him again nor know what became of him, Could I have saved his soul, one Jewish soul, just one Jewish soul and failed at it? Where did I fail or rather where did we, as Jews, fail?
I would have to live with that enigma for the rest of my life. I do, though, have a request of you, dear readers. If you ever see a beautiful pair of big brown eyes bewildered and in search of a meaning, please tell them that we are still waiting for them and please show them the way Home.