Leviya in Karnei Shomron          (18 Mar.,2002)


                                              By Moshe Burt


This past Motzai Shabbat, we returned to another new week and yet another Pigu'a.  This time, 2 teenagers were killed and some 25 others were injured at the hands of an Arab Suicide Bomber.  I want to emphasize, that's Arab Suicide Bomber.   Recent news bears out that today's Arab worker can and many times does become tomorrow's house or car thief, harasser of Jewish Children, attacker, shooter or suicide bomber.   


I had recently sent out an email to a group where I related that I asked an Arab worker for his Teudah Zehut.   One respondent, a paradigm of this "Political Correct"/Jewish "Sha, Schtill" syndrome,  wrote just before Shabbat,  "STOP acting as an idiot!  You have no right to ask for a Teudah Zehut of someone.  If he has a blue one, he is an Israeli Arab and there is no reason to hassle him.   Anyway, you should stop acting like this.   It will ONLY cause damage in the neighborhood!!"    I'm just a little sick and tired of bogus "Political Correctness" or plain old Jewish "Sha, Shtill" and equivocation when it's at the expense of Jewish life and blood.


It is against this background that I write about the Leviya of Keren Shatsky, of blessed memory, which took place this afternoon (Monday 18 Feb., 2002).   Keren was one of the 2 young people killed by the Suicide Bomber on Saturday night.


Keren was 15 years old, resided in Ginot Shomron and was a student at the Lehava Ulpana in Kedumim.  She had gone to the mall with friends for some recreation and Pizza.   The Israel Government Press Office on Monday, February 18, 2002 reported the following as emailed by  Aaron Lerner of IMRA (Independent Media, Research and Analysis);  "On Saturday night Keren went to the local Yuvalim Mall in Karnei Shomron to meet friends, eat pizza, and talk. Since its opening six months ago, the mall has become a popular meeting place for local youth. She was killed in the blast.


Keren was the youngest daughter of Chava and Shabtai Shatsky, who immigrated

to Israel from the US in 1984 and moved to Ginot Shomron in 1986."


For those hamstrung and tongue-tied Jews who fear making waves regarding the use of Arab Labor or concerning our divine right to Yishuv Eretz Yisrael, let them get a glimpse that I saw today in Ginot Shomron or, for that matter, a month and a half ago in Ashdod or in countless other Leviyot or Shiva Houses of true blue and white commitment and passion for Our Land.


Yesterday, five us represented Beit Shemesh/Ramat Beit Shemesh in joining with the family, friends and residents of Ginot Shomron, Karnei Shomron and neighboring Shomron towns in paying our final respects to Keren Shatsky, of blessed memory, one of the two young people  killed in the bomb blast.



We took bus #474 from the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem at 12 noon and arrived in

Karnei Shomron at 2:25 PM.   We stepped off of the bus onto Rehav'am Boulevard which was named for the slain Tourist Minister, former MK and former General in the IDF Rehav'am "Ghandi" Ze'evi.  I was told that the Boulevard was only recently renamed after Ze'evi on  Tu'B Shevat. 


We walked along the Boulevard toward the Neve Aliza neighborhood of Ginot Shomron and toward the Beit Knesset Heichal Rafael where the Hespid was to take place.  As we walked, we passed the Shopping Mall where the attack occurred.   At the mall, we found hundreds of young people in vigil, huddled together in small groups.  We also found hundreds of small remembrance candles, an empty store converted into a small Beit Knesset named for Nehemia and Keren.  We also passed by the remains of the Pizza shop which is already undergoing restoration -- a sign of the strength, resilience, will and fortitude to survive, to go on and to prevail despite Arab terror.


We continued making our way along Rehavim Boulevard past where it becomes Rechov Ha Alon to Beit Knesset Heichal Rafael.  Along the way, I met several friends of mine who live in the towns of the Shomron.


Arriving at the Beit Knesset, there were hundreds more people, adults and young people in the courtyard in front of the Shul.   As a Kohen, I stood as far from the entrance to the Beit Knesset as possible as Kohanim are not permitted Halachically to be near or in the same room with a dead person .   In the midst of the crowd, I spotted 2 young girls, apparently friends and classmates of Keren, clinging to each other in tearful embrace.  A third young lady was trying feebly to comfort one of the young girls.  A picture tells it all.


It's hard to understand how Government political leaders are not visibly moved or shaken in their hearts and minds by scenes such as these -- of distraught young people and why events such as this past Saturday night in Karnei Shomron don't serve as catalysts for our leaders to take decisive action to defend and secure their fellow Jews and Our Land.  It's hard to understand where the hearts and minds of the politicos are in contrast to people who suffer, persist and give their lives for a Land which is Ours.  It's as if, like Pharoh, Hashem hardens the hearts and souls of Israel's Governmental Leaders.  They just can't deep-six the notion of Oslo, Arabs, Arafat and "peace"/piece.


At 3:20 PM, the body was borne to a point just outside of the entrance to the Beit Knesset and all assembled were reciting Tehillim for the remaining wounded.


After the Tehillim, Rabbi Gold, a Rabbi living in Ginot Shomron gave a Hespid speech.  He spoke of the Chessed of keren's parents, Chava and Shabtai Shatsky, how he had learned with Keren's father for some 16 years and how the Shatsky family had helped he and his family with their Klita.   He said about Keren that there were great hopes that Keren would continue in the ways of Chessed of her parents.  All of these hopes came to an abrupt end this past Motzai Shabbat.




Then Keren's classmates spoke at the Hespid voicing a tearful farewell.  From there, the body was moved in procession to the cemetary for burial.


Three of our Ramat Beit Shemesh contingent caught the autobus #465 back to Jerusalem at 4:25 PM.  Two others left by different means after the Leviya.


*************************************************************Moshe Burt is a writer and commentator on events in Israel who made Aliyah 3 years ago and is the founder of the Sefer Torah Recycling Network.  He is a former resident of Philadelphia, Pa.


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