With thoughts of Gaza, psalms are recited
seeking safety for all Israelis.
SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN
hen the Council of
Orthodox Rabbis of
Greater Detroit arranged an
evening of prayer on behalf of those
involved in the upcoming disengage-
ment in Gaza, they did so with an
invitation to both those who oppose
and those who support the pullout.
"We wanted to include everyone, no
matter what position they hold," said
Rabbi Yechiel Morris of Young Israel
of Southfield, who organized the serv-
ice along with Rabbis Reuven Spolter
of Young Israel of Oak Park, Elimelech
Silberberg of Sara Tugman Bais
Chabad Torah Center in West
Bloomfield and Shaiall Zachariash of
Shomrey Emunah in Southfield.
"The goal of the program was to
provide an outlet to the community to
express their fears and concern during
this critical time in the history of our
people and the State of Israel."
The 250 participants of the Aug. 8
service gathered for a short, 35-
minute recitation of tehillim (psalms).
"Rabbi Zachariash began by stressing
that this was not a political gathering
but rather one of prayer and reflec-
tion," Rabbi Morris said. "He cited
the tradition of setting aside time dur-
ing the nine days leading up to Tisha
b'Av, which we are currently in, to
turn to God in prayer, regarding the
plight of the Jewish people."
While only a few showed the orange
colors of opposition in their dress,
Rabbi Morris said, "Rabbi Spolter
noted with humor the color of the
Young Israel of Oak Park seats in the
sanctuary where the service was held
are all orange."
The goal of the evening was reached
`Terrorism Is About to Jump'
Israeli security expert Mark Prowisor gives his take.
Jewish Renaissance Media
ark Prowisor is chief secu-
rity coordinator of Shilo, a
small community of about
230 families situated between the
Arab towns of Nablus and Ramallah.
He spoke recently via telephone with
about Israel's expected pullout from
Gaza and the northern West Bank.
What do you want people to know
about the situation in Israel today?
"I want them to be aware that ter-
rorism is about to jump major levels.
I [also] want people here to be more
involved, not just raising funds, but
to feel that the projects that protect
Israeli lives are theirs, too. What else
is security? To protect and save lives.
It doesn't matter what may happen in
the future if I can save a life today."
How does terrorism affect your lives
now? Do you expect that to change?
in that participants holding differing
opinions on the disengagement were
able to pray side by side for the well
being of all Israelis involved in it.
"Through the recital of tehillim, each
individual was able to relate to God
their feelings at this time," Rabbi
Morris said. "This ranged from those
who are against the disengagement plan
to those who are in support and those
who are uncertain but are nevertheless
concerned for the welfare of the resi-
dents of Gush Katif and other settle-
ments that are part of this pullout.
"They prayed for the Israeli soldiers
and the general security of the State of
Israel. What unified the participants,
in the very moving and heartfelt serv-
ice, was their concern for the safety of
our brothers and sisters living in Israel
and the knowledge that in times of
crises, we turn to God and ask for His
Divine protection." ❑
and wanted their attitude for our
kids. They are growing up as respon-
sible citizens, with Judaism in their
hearts, not just in what they do.
There is an atmosphere overflowing
with warmth, a true source of
pride to our people."
"Right now it's relatively
quiet. I've been involved
with over 70 shootings
You live in a sea of Arabs.
since the Intifada started;
What's it like?
[now] I've stopped count-
"We had [better] relation-
ships with them before Oslo.
"Due to disengagement,
Today they are decent, but not
[we expect] that terrorism
open as one would hope. There
in Judea and Samaria will
have been too many attacks.
Mark Prot visor We've buried six ... The Arabs
grow in leaps and bounds.
We're being warned to
thought they would scare us
expect daily shootings, mortar attacks
away, but we responded by bonding
and anti-tank rockets on our roads in
together, and today Shilo is so popu-
addition to the regular shootings. We
lar it's hard for a newcomer to get a
haven't had many shootings in the last house."
months, [so] I even let my wife drive
to Jerusalem. But I don't know how
How does Shilo protect itself?
bad it will be in terms of casualties.
"As a Jewish village in Samaria,
It's hard, but we will get through it."
there is a lot of work, not a lot of
sleep. EveryoFne is involved in one
What is life like in Shilo today?
way or another; through awareness,
"Daily life is wonderful. The people taking extra precautions, constant
are worldly, not afraid to travel and
guarding and surveillance. [We have]
live life. One of the major factors is
an emergency tactical team trained to
the children. [When] my wife and I
take care of any contingencies. This
visited years ago, we saw the children
first-response team is on call 24/7.
A youngster prays with his elders at the
communal prayer service.
We [also have a perimeter security
system that uses cameras, and we
hope to incorporate motion detection
and night detection systems as funds
"[We also have] paid guards ... All
families also contribute time and
money. Those who can't give time,
pay or have others do the work for
them. But unlike the Arabs, we don't
give 0 guns to children. Our children
don't learn to use guns until they go
into the army."
How did you become a security
"Although I'm an artist by profession,
the village asked me to [run security],
and the army trained me. My special-
ty is terrorist attacks. Even 6,000
miles away I'm still getting calls."
What is your message to Diaspora
Despite whatever happens political-
ly, [Israelis] are one people, not to be
divided. Our strength relies on our
togetherness. The more separate we
become, the weaker we become, and
that goes for Judaism internationally
as well." ❑