Taking Down Tapuach West;
"Surely, this thing is known..."

By, Moshe Burt

On Tuesday morning, 20 January, 2004, immediately upon receiving a Supreme Court decision denying Tapuach-West's appeal regarding their Beit Knesset, a force of several hundred military and police, equipped with bulldozers descended upon the site.

The Army quickly placed barriers at the Tapuach Junction to prevent the arrival of Shul supporters. However, some of the supporters were able to arrive in any event. And so, the Tapuach group was caught flat-footed. By about 2:15 PM, the destruction of the Shul had begun. 

Despite the court's mandate that the demolition of the synagogue must be carried out with great caution, witnesses state that hundreds of police and military arrived at Tapuach-West "with great violence, most of them armed, and some of them even fired in the air... Some people have been knocked unconscious by their violence. " 

The Aron HaKodesh which housed the Shul's new Sefer Torah, placed there two weeks earlier, was violently confiscated by the army. One young female resident begged the police not to confiscate the Aron, that it belonged her family. She was brutally beaten-up by police officers for no other reason than for asserting ownership of the Aron.

In the aftermath of the dismantlement, information has come to the fore which, if proven, indicates that Yesha Council, by virtue of their silence and inaction, may have been complicit wih Prime Minister Sharon, the police and the military in the "rabbinic supervised" trashing of theTapuach-West Shul.

"Senior Yesha Council official Bentzi Lieberman released a message to the media calling on the IDF to exercise restraint and comply with the law while carrying out orders to destroy Yesha outposts.

The veteran Yesha activist reiterated the Yesha Council remains opposed to the uprooting of any Jewish community (outpost) in the Land of Israel, adding the Tapuah West community was authorized by former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Binyamin Netanyahu. Lieberman stated Prime Minister Ariel Sharon could have permitted the process to obtain permits for the synagogue but instead ordered the building destroyed." 

The Council further stated that "...it objects to the evacuation of any Jewishly-held point in the Land of Israel, and that with a little good will, the government could have authorized the synagogue, just as the Barak government did in the past in similar situations. At the same time, the Yesha Council said it would not take part in the efforts to prevent the demolition 'in cases where we do not know in advance the nature of the resistance.' The Council thus leveled some veiled criticism of the Kach supporters in Tapuach, implying that they might respond violently to the evacuation."
(Arutz-7 Demolition of Tapuach Synagogue Begins With Violence14:17 Jan 20, '04 / 26 Tevet 5764)

Although Yesha Council did issue some weak statements in opposition to the trashing of Tapuach-West's Shul, very reliable sources, both among the Religious-Nationalist movement and the opposition Labor Party have indicated a secret back-room deal struck at the highest levels of both the Yesha Council and the Sharon government whereby Yesha Council would not interfere in the bulldozing of Tapuach-West's Beit Knesset and in echange, the government would refrain from dismantling a certain unnamed outpost. 

On an internet forum, a number of people submitted emails describing how they contacted Yesha Council inquiring as to how to get to Tapuach-West and what the Council was doing to help Tapuach. They apparently received responses from the Council "not to be concerned about Tapuach-West."

And particularly damning was a statement in a Hebrew newspaper attributed to "an unnamed Yesha spokesman" which said "Baruch shepetarnu m'hamivneh hazeh" -- "Blessed is the one who set us free from this building." 

Just what we need -- lies and deceit within the Nationalist ranks. Is there nothing sacred? "Surely this thing is known..." (Torah Gems, Volume 2, page 20 on Parsha Sh'mos, Perek 2, posuk 14 quoting Binah Le-Itim.) 

"At the beginning of the Parsha, we are told that when Moshe grew up, he went out to see his brethren ... their ways and behavior. When he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, and there was no one else in sight, i.e., no other Hebrew ... willing to defend the man ... being beaten, he assumed that was because their slavery had destroyed their will to struggle. On the second day, though when he saw two Hebrews fighting one another and one said to him, 'as you killed the Egyptian,' he saw that that man believed that Moshe's actions on the previous day had been wrong. Moshe responded, 'Surely this thing is known' -- it is not their slavery nor their lack of strength to fight back that is causing them not to resist the Egpytians, because they are perfectly willing to fight one another. What is evidently missing is a sense of justice, of mutual support, of helping the weak, and that is the reason why the redemption had not yet come. 'Surely, this thing is known' -- now I understand the matter."

And so too, in our generation, it's not that we are weak and can't fight, it's just not politically correct among those who are assimilated, who seek to be as the goyim, who seek "a state of all of it's people" or are afraid to assert Jewish possession of Eretz Yisrael and who are totally devoid of Torah. In our generation, divisiveness and Chillul Hashem abound.

IY'H, that B'nai Yisrael comes to our collective senses and finally sees the imperative dangers, both within and without, and acts to defeat them. May we not lose further valuable Jewish neshamot to the machinations and chesbonot of the anti-Torah politically self-interested. In the merit of our collective unity, emunah and actions, may we be zocha to compell Hashem to do what he want's to do, to bring us Moshiach, the Geula Shlaima, and an end to low, dirty politics, political equivocation, perfidy and false cheshbonot; Achshav, Chik Chuk, Meiyad, Etmol!!

Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network <http://www.sefer-torah.com>. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.


Sefer Torah, Sifrei Torah, Sefer Torah Recycling, Sefer Torah repairs, Torah scrolls, Torah Scroll Restoratation, Sefer Torah restoration, Sefer Torah transfer, Israel, Eretz Yisrael, Mokom Torah, Mekomot Torah, chessed, mitzvah, tzedaka, donations, raise funds, Shuls, Israel, Eretz Yisroel, Yeshivas, Yeshivot, Israeli Yeshivot, chizuk, Ahavat Yisroel, Sofer, Sofrim, Sofrus, Synagogues, Synagogues in Israel, Beit Knesset, Israeli Batei Knesset, Israeli cities, Israeli towns, needy locations in Israel, Memorials in Israel  Mission: Acquires donations of Sifrei Torah and raises funds to restore them to a Kosher state for transfer to needy locations in Israel.