LET MY PEOPLE GO

Hebron-Past, Present and Forever
by David Wilder
LET MY PEOPLE GO
March 22, 1996

Over the last week I have received tens of letters concerning the continued administrative detention of Rav Yitzhak Ginsburgh. I know that hundreds of letters have poured into Habad, from people around the world. Protest letters are flowing to Senators, Congressmen, Israeli Consulate and Embassies. Yet the deaf ears of Shimon Peres etc. refuse to hear – their hardened hearts refuse to soften. They continue to hold an exemplary Torah Scholar behind bars in subhuman conditions, reserved for dangerous criminal being punished for atrocious crimes. The elementary rights to kosher food and prayer are being denied him. His telephone time is limited to less than 20 minutes a day. He is held in a very small cell with another prisoner in bunk beds – his bed is too short for his legs. Supporters are urged to call:
972-2-247185 – Israel Prison Authorities and/or 972-8 – 239821 – the spokesman of the Prison authorities.
Speak to them about the conditions Rav Ginsburgh is being held in.
Earlier this week Rav Aharon Halprin, editor of the magazine Kfar Habad, when returning from a trip abroad, was taken into custody at Ben Gurion airport by police authorities. He described how all of his belongings were searched, included “every piece of paper he had in his pockets.” It should be noted that the magazine has an editorial policy very right of center and has been extremely critical of the government, and its policies.
An hour or so ago, while taking a group around Hebron, I spoke to them, while at Tel Rumeida, the plight of Barch Marzel and David Shirel, both being held under house arrest. One of the women asked me, astounded, “how can they punish them, without an indictment and a trial? Is it legal?” What kind of answer can I give? Is it legal – it’s written on the books from British Mandatory presence in Israel. Does that make it legal? Does that make it moral?

As we approach the beginning of spring, the Hebrew month of Nisan – the month of redemption from Egypt – the holiday of Passover, we must do a little reflecting – how do the events of yesteryear apply to us today. Then too there was an evil Pharoh – Moses went to him demanding: LET MY PEOPLE GO.
Pharoh refused. To the contrary, life for the enslaved Israelites worsened, conditions deteriorated. Moses returned and cried: LET MY PEOPLE GO! – to deaf ears. Then the plagues began – after each one it seemed that reconciliation was possible, an understanding could be reached. But then, after a short while, back to where we started from – sometimes even worse than that. Until finally, enough – the tenth plague, the death of the Egyptian first born – the exodus from Egypt, culminating with the parting of the sea and the drowning of the persuers. It is written that the only one left alive, of all the army, was Pharoh himself – he lived to see the ruins of his people.

Following the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, the Jewish Community of Hebron publicized a strong condemnation of the assassination. Killing is not the answer. No one should dare lift a hand against Peres or any of his cronies. That is not our job. But, it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if, after his defeat on May 29, Shimon Peres, together with the rest of his regime, were indicted and tried for high treason against the Land of Israel, the People of Israel, the State of Israel, and the Torah of Israel.

Today we don’t have one Moses – we all have to play the part. I hope and pray that we will not be inundated with ‘plagues’ that we will not have to witness what the Egyptians were forced to, before the redemption, for in the end, this will all stop and good will overcome evil. But for the time being, we will all, as did Moses – cry out:

LET MY PEOPLE GO


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