A plea to PM Netanyahu on Rosh Hashana Eve

The eve of Rosh Hashana.  5779.

Another Rosh Hashana has come, where a seat will be left empty for a mother or father or sister or brother or daughter or son, whom the Israeli government has left behind in Ethiopia. Perhaps this will be the year that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will fulfill his promises and bring the remainder of Ethiopian Jewry to Israel, as the unanimous decision he presided over in 2015 ruled.

And at a far distance from the Prime Minister’s Jerusalem residence, the remainder of Ethiopian Jewry, dressed in pure white, will gather in the blue-and-white painted synagogues in Addis Ababa and Gondar. They will pour out their souls in prayer, as they clench their prayer books which have been dampened by a mix of raindrops that have penetrated through the tin ceiling along with tears.  And when they call out “Next year in Jerusalem,” yet again they will find the ability to fill their hearts with hope, that after 11 or 15 or 21 years of waiting, THIS will be the year that they will enter the land of promises and reunite with their loved ones.

On the eve of Rosh Hashana 5779, I turn to you, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Remember your promises, commitments, and government decisions.  Do not forsake your 8,000 brothers and sisters waiting to reach the promised land.  And when you utter the prayer to gather in the dispersed ones from the four corners of the earth, know that you still have an obligation on your slate waiting to be fulfilled.

Credit: Aaron Katsof
Credit: Maxim Dinshtein
Credit: Ruhama Ehrenhalt
Credit: Eden David
Credit: Shmueli Cohen, “Warren Shaft” Productions
Credit: Maxim Dinshtein
Credit: Maxim Dinshtein
Credit: Maxim Dinshtein
Credit: Eden David

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About the Author
Raised in New Jersey and living in Israel for the past 7 years, Alisa Bodner has been involved with various initiatives to forge connections between Jewish communities abroad and Israel. She is the Spokesperson to Foreign Media for the grassroots organization, "The Struggle for Ethiopian Aliyah."
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