For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
I’ve always been curious whether certain words create their own power or simply draw upon the power of that which they describe. The term “Holocaust,” which starts with soft vowels implying vastness and ends with knife-sharp consonants, seems like it would be evocative regardless of what it describes. Yet once this term came into general use to describe the Nazi’s extermination of European Jewry, it drew upon the massiveness of that event, eventually pushing out other terms (some foreign like “Shoah,” some euphemistic such as “Final Solution” – a simple phrase which itself can mean only one thing to today’s ears) to become synonymous with history’s most horrific crime.
Fights over the term simply demonstrate its unique power to move people emotionally. As horrific, vast and mind-numbing as other historic mass murders have been (such as the Armenian genocide, which many see as an historic “warm up” for other 20th century ethnic exterminations), there is a reason we describe these as the “Armenian Holocaust,” the “Rwandan Holocaust,” etc., rather than describing the Shoah as the “Armenian genocide of the Jews.”
“Apartheid,” meaning “seperateness”, resonates as a word, even to those unfamiliar with the Dutch dialect used by South Africa’s white Afrikaans population, implying as it does the English terms “Apart” and “Hate.” And yet the ugliness of the system it describes, a form of mass racial discrimination masquerading under formal legalism, certainly contributes to this term becoming synonymous with bigotry as state policy.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"