The Yitzhak Hills
April 19, 2001
On Tuesday night I was working late, as has been my wont of late. Sometime before 11:00
the shooting started again. It sounded fairly heavy, but that’s nothing new. The shooting
hasn’t stopped in almost seven months. So when the action starts, it’s nothing to get excited
At about 11:30 I received a phone call from my daughter Aderet, aged 16. She said to
me, “They’re shooting. Bullets hit the apartment….. and I was standing there.” Needless to
say, I dropped what I was doing and was home in a matter of minutes.
There I saw one of the scariest sights I’ve ever witnessed. On the wall, next to the bathroom
door, were five bullet holes, huge bullet holes.
Seeing that everyone was OK I asked exactly what happened.
My 9 and half year old, Rutie, has had a tough few months. She is in the fourth grade class
taught by Rina Didovsky, the schoolteacher from Beit Hagai who was killed by terrorists
several months ago. Ruthie was also sitting on some steps outside the entrance to the
Avraham Avinu neighborhood when Shalhevet Pass was killed. Not only did she see the
whole thing, but also came running into my office hysterically informing me that “Yitzik was
shot and fell and the baby was shot in the head.”
Even inside our apartment she is sometimes afraid, and when she has to use the bathroom,
asks that someone escort her and wait for her outside the door. So Aderet walked with her
to the bathroom and waited for her outside, standing right in from of the bathroom door. And
then the shooting started. And almost instantaneously Aderet saw five holes appear on the
wall, about a foot from where she was standing.
We have sandbags outside all our windows in order to prevent such possibilities. However,
we were told that it should be OK to leave a little room between the sandbags and the top of
the window, and so we did. An Arab terrorist sniper found that gap, took aim, and funneled
four of the five bullets through one hole in the window.
If Aderet had been standing a little to her right, next to the wall, instead of in front of the
bathroom door, she most likely would have been hit.
Thank G-d, we live in a city of miracles, and she is fine, as are the rest of the children. This
Shabbat, together with at least ten other families who have experienced similar miracles, we
will have an afternoon “thanksgiving meal” at the “protest tent” we have set up outside the
Avraham Avinu neighborhood.
Many people have challenged the “protest tent” because it is located in the street, exactly
opposite the Abu Sneneh hills, source of so much gunfire. We are asked, “how can you
sit outside in the middle of the street, leaving yourselves exposed to Arab shooting?” The
question is not difficult to answer: “We are in no more danger in the middle of the street than
we are in our own homes.”
A couple of weeks ago, a quiet Friday night. The Struk family, including 11 children (the last 2
are twin girls) lives in a newly built apartment in Beit Nachum v’Yehuda in the Avraham Avinu
neighborhood. Some of their windows are facing the Abu Sneneh hills. After Shabbat dinner,
the oldest son, Tzviki, 18 years old, looked very tired and his parents suggested that he retire
for the night. However, his mother, Orit, one of the leaders of the Hebron community who
works at least 18 hours a day, was ready to collapse. Tzviki told his mother, “you go to sleep
and I’ll wash the dishes.” As he was working in the kitchen, bang, bang, bang, the terrorists
were at it again. A short time later, when Tzviki finally went up to his room, he discovered a
huge hole in the window, opposite his bed. The bullet hit the wall, just above his pillow.
There are still those who suggest that we leave Hebron, claiming that it is too dangerous
to be here. But where to go? There are mortars falling in the south and bombs exploding in
Jerusalem and in the north. So where is there to hide?
Besides which, that is the terrorist’s goal…to drive us out of our land. They have declared war
on us. Unfortunately, we have not declared war back on them.
Ariel Sharon was elected by an overwhelming majority of the country because he promised
to restore security. He did not receive a mandate to remain passive or to continue a policy of
restraint. He received a mandate to stop the acts of aggression against Israeli civilians and
soldiers. He has yet to act decisively. As a result, the bullets keep flying, literally around our
heads. When Sharon does what he’s supposed to do, it won’t be dangerous for us in Hebron,
or in Kfar Darom, or in Jerusalem, or in Netanya. The answer is not to run away, but rather to
fight back for what is rightfully ours. If we keep fleeing, our enemies will only continue running
after us. We have to hit them back – we have to hit them hard, making them truly understand
that we are not running away and that we mean business.
We have friends who live in a building right next to Beit Hadassah. Their kitchen window
faces the northern Harat a’Shech hills, just as our apartment windows do. They have a 12
year old son named Yitzhak. The other day Yitzhak had the following conversation with his
“After Shalhevet was killed, we renamed the Abu Sneneh hills the Shalhevet hills, right? I don’t think that the army will take back all the hills surrounding us until one or two more people are killed here. What do you think of the name, the Yitzhak hills?”