For the sins you have sinned…

It feels very strange and even wrong to write a hateful blog one week before Rosh HaShana, during a time when we are to be cleansing and healing. But I can’t help it. I am seething and woke up in the middle of the night filled with rage and I need to purge.

The list of transgressions against the beautiful soul of our nation committed by our Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is long and varied. But for this latest one, Bibi, there is no forgiveness. Israelis, for all of our foibles and failings, agree on one thing universally — the sacredness of the holiday family gathering. Whether you love it or dread it, are religious or secular, our Israeli biological holiday clock runs between Pesach and Rosh HaShana. The trauma we as a nation experienced during the lockdown on Pesach is still with many of us, as part of our own personal coronavirus war story. But, mah la’asot, we say to each other, as a tapestry of humanity so experienced at bucking up under existential threat, Corona simply landed on us…(I will say for the record that I also believed then that the timing of the Pesach lockdown was diabolically planned).

But this time, Bibi? This time your convenient timing and manipulation is simply transparent for all to behold. 7 million people have been making plans for Rosh HaShana for the last few weeks. Grandmothers have started cooking. Families have already thrashed out the argument about which in-laws to go to. Businesses have ordered supplies to meet the extra holiday demands. And I (and many others like me) have spent the better part of the last 2.5 months as a volunteer synagogue president trying to plan our services in an almost daily changing set of rules. And today you are kicking all of us in the stomach. And you are doing it deliberately, and you have been planning it all summer, and since Pesach in fact.

You have chosen to once again hit us where it hurts the most, on our soft underbellies, that place where for a moment we are not religious vs secular, Ashkenazi vs Sephardi, Tel Aviv vs Sderot, left vs right; that place where we are all Jews. There is no surprise factor here, Bibi; the infection rate has been climbing in a steady and terrifying fashion for months now, and you have sat by and allowed Professor Gamzu struggle for support. His well thought out plans were never even given a chance to be put to the test, and you never actually intended to do so. You were just stretching out the time, as the death toll rose, just waiting to get to one week before Rosh HaShana, Funny, how you disappeared from our nightly television screens for all these months, just waiting for this moment to reappear with your solemn face and sad words. You opened school when the infection rate was almost 2,000 people per day when you swore to us on national television a few month ago that anything over 400 a day would lead us back to a lockdown. You did it on purpose, so that you could perfectly time this lockdown, so you could inflict collective pain on the nation that suffers daily under your tyranny. And you have succeeded, once again. For that we have only ourselves to blame.

We will survive this too, Bibi, and we will outlive your interminable leadership. Like those flowers that poke their heads through the cracks of a cement lot, we will figure out to celebrate Rosh HaShana in our 500 meters. And I believe deeply that the inherent goodness of our people will prevail over your pathetic attempts to sow rife and discontent, and to fracture us. The day will come when we will reclaim our nation, and return to who we really are, under the leadership of someone more deserving.

I console myself with only one thought. What goes around comes around. And while you will likely evade judgement in our courts of law, make no mistake about it…Beit Din shel Maala awaits you…

About the Author
A 25 year Jerusalemite, Rena hails from South Jersey and got her BA and MA at Penn. After years as a devoted Jewish communal servant/ Zionist educator, today she loves the independence of working with her Rabbi/tour guide husband doing B’nei Mitzvah for families celebrating in Israel. The proud mother of 2 sons, 2 daughters, a daughter in law and a dog, her best days are when her children thank her for making aliyah.
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