The Cohen family of Kfar Darom

Though originally written in 2003 after numerous terror attacks in Kfar Darom, with ongoing rocket attacks in the South, this ‘fable’ is as timely as ever.

KFAR DAROM was a kibbutz within the Gush Katif bloc that was evacuated during the 2005 disengagement. The community has reestablished itself in the Western Negev. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
KFAR DAROM was a kibbutz within the Gush Katif bloc that was evacuated during the 2005 disengagement. The community has reestablished itself in the Western Negev.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
One upon a time, though not so long ago, there was a very special group of souls in Heaven known as the Cohen family. They were very happy learning Torah and caring for each other when, one day, an angel appeared and said that God needed to see them urgently. In an instant, they were in His presence. He hugged each one warmly and then got right down to business.
“I have a very special mission for you,” He said. “You will soon be going down to earth and will be born in Eretz Yisrael, where your presence is needed to bring a special, holy light to the land.”
They clapped happily, for they very much wanted to be together in the land of their Patriarchs and Matriarchs. “Tell us more,” they urged with great curiosity.
“As usual, the Jewish people are in great danger,” God answered. “You will be given a task that will require great courage and fortitude.”
“What exactly does that require?” asked the father.
“On the planet is a very evil man called Arafat, who is cunning and cruel, like all dictators. Soon to be elected is an American president named Bill Clinton, a foolish and impetuous man who is in love only with himself, like all politicians. Although Arafat has a long history of murderous treachery, Clinton will proclaim that he is a changed man and wants nothing more than to bring peace to his people. Governments around the world, who care only for money, honor and power, will give him billions and will promote this travesty which will deceitfully be called a ‘peace process’ in order to lull the masses into oblivion.”
“How could people be so stupid?” the Cohen family cried out in anguish.
“Yes,” responded God. “Many people fall for empty promises and flashy fantasies of fake salvation. That’s the world down there – a place of deceit and falsehood. The evil Arafat will use all the money he collected for his reprehensible cause and distribute it to his corrupt cohorts. He will exploit his own masses and cause them to be terribly impoverished and then say that Israel is the cause of their suffering. Then, he will direct their rage against all of Israel.”
“Won’t people see how evil Arafat is?” asked Mrs. Cohen.
“Only those who cling to Torah will see the truth, while the rest will ignore history and cling to the worst of all addictions. It’s called Hope Dope. It makes people think that evil people can be conned, cajoled and tricked into being righteous. Indeed, Arafat will travel the world, will be feted and fawned over as if he is a great hero, talking peace but gathering arms for war. Those Jews who are delusional enough to trust him will bring Israel to the brink of self-destruction with concessions and worthless agreements. Such is the nature of olam hasheker, the world of lies.
“Arafat will inflict enormous damage on the little nation of Israel, but he will claim that he is the victim, as all psychopaths do. Meanwhile, those Jews who care only for power and prestige will excuse his bus bombings and terrorist attacks as required ‘sacrifices for peace.’ These Jews will curry favor with him and promise more concessions. But the more Israel gives, the more the nations of the world will revile and mock it. They never learn,” He said sadly.
“Where do we come in?” asked the children.
“Look at your bodies,” said God to the children. “Look at your arms and legs and fingers. See how beautiful you are. These are your bodies of Light, your real bodies. When you go down to earth, you will be given temporary bodies, like clothes, which you will wear for a short time. You need these temporary bodies, because this is the only way to do mitzvot on earth. Having a body changes your sense of time. On planet earth, time seems to move very slowly when you are in pain. And you will have a lot of pain. But up here, a lifetime is over in the blink of an eye.”
With great love, He pointed to the parents and said, “You two will go down first.”
“But we don’t want to be separated from our parents!” cried the child.
“Don’t worry,” He soothed them. “You will follow shortly. Your parents will love you on earth, just as they love you here. You will live in a beautiful yishuv called Kfar Darom, with lots of joy and love. You, Orit, will love to dance. You, Yisrael, will love to play soccer. And you, Tehilla, will love to skip and run around. Then the evil Arafat will provoke Israel with constant attacks, maiming and killing many innocent people. Strangely, the more violent the Arabs become, the more determined Israeli leaders are to make concessions to them.”
“How can that be?” protested father Ofir indignantly.
“In the world of lies, you will be shocked by injustice and cruelty. Your heart will break when you hear leaders of Israel say that you brave settlers are obstacles to peace, and that if only your settlements could be uprooted and destroyed, then peace will prevail.”
“How can people be so stupid?” asked Tehilla, who, even at her tender age, understood the foolishness of this position.
“This is the way of those who have no Torah, because without Torah, there is no understanding of history or morality,” replied God. “As the noose tightens around the Jewish people, Arafat will cause more deaths. The more Jews he kills, the more the world will love him and hate Israel. Israel will be condemned in every country. People have pity only for the Arabs.”
“Can’t You change that?” pleaded mother Noga.
“One day, you will put three of your children on a school bus which the evil Arafat will bomb. You three,” He pointed lovingly to Orit, Tehilla and Yisrael, “will lose limbs.” The children looked shocked. “Come here,” He said, hugging them close to Him. “Beautiful Orit,” he said, “you will lose your foot. My precious Yisrael, you will lose your leg.” He took little Tehilla on His lap and told her lovingly, “And you, my precious child, will lose both of your legs and two fingers.”
There was a gasp from the little children, who all loved to skip and dance and run around. The parents were shocked. Noga bit her lip to keep from crying, as their father held her close.
“I’m sorry,” said God. “This is the only way to save Israel. Great sacrifices are needed by many heroic souls in order to turn world opinion against the evil Arafat. Many brave people will lose children, husbands, wives and parents. Your task is different. Remember always that your Bodies of Light are your real bodies. Those bodies are always whole and beautiful. Do you want this mission? It is your choice. I will not force you.”
The Cohen family members looked at each other and came to a conclusion. “As long as we can be together,” father Ofir winced. “Yes,” they cried out in unison. “We just want to remain together as a family.”
“You will be,” promised God solemnly.
“How will we manage?” asked mother Noga anxiously.
“I will send you many angels, hundreds of them. They will look like ordinary people, but they will help to prepare food and treat them in the hospital and lift them in and out of wheelchairs and send you money to help you manage. You will feel My presence at all times, especially in the middle of the night, when you will cry yourself to sleep and feel heartbroken for your little children. I will be there. I will remind you that your brave children have helped to save the people of Israel by awakening people’s consciousness. This will give you comfort.
“It is no coincidence that your children have these names. Yisrael, although you limp like my beloved Ya’acov, you will be an inspiration to others to live with faith, despite the evil that flourishes on planet earth. You, Orit, will light up the world with your beautiful smile. And you, precious Tehilla,” He said, hugging her close, “because of you, millions of people will recite Psalms and come to their senses about the idiotic peace process. Yours will be the hardest trial of all. You will be in a wheelchair down there, but up here, your beautiful, whole Body of Light will be waiting for you.
“I and My angels will surround you with love,” He continued. “Whenever you are in pain, be very quiet and feel My love. I will send special angels who will marry your children and who will not be troubled by their external handicaps. Because they are angels, they will be concerned only with their inner beauty; that’s how you know they are angels.”
He looked at the other children, who would not be hurt in the bombing and said, “You, too, will need to be brave and heroic. You are people of great compassion and faith. These qualities will help you carry out your mission. Are you ready?”
The Cohen family all nodded in unison. They held hands and looked at their perfect Bodies of Light in order to remember the truth.
And then they all found themselves in a hospital in Beersheba.
The writer is a psychotherapist and author, whose books include E.M.E.T.T., Awareness, Appreciate People, 30 Seconds to Emotional Health, It’s All a Gift, Sticks and Stones and Victim to Victor.