A note from my dear friend in Jerusalem . . .
I love her reporting of this event, and I wish I could have been there to support these brave young men.
May they and their families names be written immediately and repeatedly in the Book of Life for all good blessings, wealth, and happiness!
The ceremony held last night at Heichal David to bestow a special certificate of honor and recognition to each of the soldiers who refused to take part in the recent expulsion of two Jewish families from Hebron was a moving occasion indeed.
Although I couldn't stay for the whole evening, I was impressed by the spirit, the fervor and the devotion of each of the speakers and the resulting enthusiastic and just as spirited response from the hundreds of people present, including religious and secular. Among notables in the audience: Women in Green co-founder Nadia Matar and Boaz HaEtzni (of the "Homesh First" Movement), Eleonora Shifrin, the editor of the Russian version of Arutz 7, Shifra Hoffman, founder of Victims of Arab Terror, as well as so many other people in whose company I want and need to spend as much time as possible!
In spite of some initial problems with the sound system (which briefly postponed Ariel Zilber's performance), the ceremony got off the ground with the Rav of Kiryat Arba, R. Dov Lior SHLIT"A, who emphasized that a soldier must obey all orders - except those that go against the Torah, in which case the soldier must disobey them. He urged us not to bend before the pressure of the goyim of the world, and impressed us with the self sacrifice of these hero soldiers.
Rabbi Dov Goldwasser, of the Task Force to Save the People and the Land, spoke of our Defense Minister Ehud Barak being present at the recent ceremony for the soldiers who fought in last summer's second Lebanon War, and pointed out that Barak was the one who caused the death of soldiers in that war due to his hasty midnight retreat from Lebanon in 2000.
Professor Ezra Zohar, of Gush Emunim fame, spoke of the need to establish a nationwide movement to draft a law that a military commander is forbidden to give such orders to evacuate Jews or take down settlements.
Rabbi Dov Wolpe pointed out the crass illegality of such orders violating the Torah, and that those giving such orders and carrying them out need to be held responsible for breaking the law and brought to trial.
The actual "Tzalash" ceremony, preceded by recognition of the parents of these soldiers as the real heros, involved calling up these parents or other representatives of the soldiers and presenting them with a beautiful certificate of honor, and the parent or representative delivering a short speech.
It was emphasized by several of the parents that after the soldiers were released from military prison, they were asked to express regret for their actions - and every one of them refused! It was heartening to see both religious and secular parents involved; in one case, a secular parent made an impassioned speech for the sanctity of Zionism, including all the Land of Israel, while his religious hero soldier-son looked on. Needless to say, the parents and soldiers merited a standing ovation from the audience.
Ariel Zilber, an Israeli musical performer who has come a very long way in his own life, performed two of his newest songs - Yesh Din v'Yesh Dayan (there's a Judgment and a Judge) and Ay, Ay, Ay Zion.
For more information, see the article posted on Arutz 7 at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/133097 .