Monday, June 16, 2008

The Story of Rav Yehudah Amital

One day Yehuda decided to take a trip through the Judean hills and visit the religious kibbutz, Kfar Etzion, set up just two years earlier in April 1943. Together with a friend from the yeshiva, he took an Arab bus from Jerusalem to Hebron. They got off close to Kfar Etzion and walked to the new settlement. On the way, they met a group of men from the Kibbutz, collecting stones for building from the hills. Yehudah was surprised to see that one of the men was his old adversary from Gruswedein, Joshua Hagar. Hagar had joined the the effort to build Kfar Etzion a short time after he had arrived in Palestine. He was also surprised to see Yehuda. They both immediately remembered the argument thay had had in shul in Gruswedein on Chol Hamoed Pesach. "Is that you, Yehuda?" he teased. "You scoundrel, you stayed alive? Weren't you the one preaching about dying for Kidush Hashem? By your own words you should have gone to Auswitz! I'm amazed you're alive!" In his heart, Yehuda answered him in a different tone. "Chutzpah! You were the only one who escaped, and you're calling me a scoundrel...?" Aloud, he said only "Baruch Hashem, I was saved". But Yehoshua wouldn't let go. "You still believe? You're still Dati?" he asked. To this Yehuda answered with a question: "Had I not stayed religious would the questions be answered? Would what happened be understood? Would it be clearer?"

(excerpt from page 108)

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