An innocent, insistent ray of sun semaphored me its message.
The golden beam emerged from my idyllic Oranit and followed us--me and my car. Together we navigated the fairy grotto -- our local wooded hills; our version of heaven, Horshim.
The light, was a backdrop emphasizing the wood's every detail. Like all natural beauty, it was more so. The motes danced, the wood's discrete make-up-- shades of pastel green, brown and grey resonated in a harmony of affection.
Einstein pictured his theory of relativity as he rode on the back of a sunbeam. I rode my scintilla; we travelled back in time.
I dismounted in another wood, and in another country -- Poland: 1939.
The light was somber; the quiet was foreboding. From hell, emerged an echoing, nauseating, mechanical clanking which announced its unthinkable existence.

The rickety wooden bridge trembled; it bore the Cavaliers of cataclysm and catastrophe. Beneath the bridge, flowed a gentle stream, somberly apprehending the blood and guilt it was vicarious to bear.
The stream of time would never cleanse the stains of infamy, sin and evil.
The dam of damnation broke.
Within 200 meters they fell upon the first Jewish community to fall into their grotesque clutches.
The Jews of Praszka were first. My family initiated the Holocaust. It started there. It started with my flesh and blood.
For seven years, my grandfather searched the survivors. All he had was their likenesses -- monochromatic photographs of his family. Noah wracked in grief for those who had not escaped the deluge of death and destruction; my grandfather spirit left us seven years later. We buried him in the Polish Synagogue's plot. From the synagogue, a copy of the one 100 meters from his Praszka home, my grandfather joined the images on the photos. My granddad won. The evil bastards, the Nazis, lost. A Pyrrhic victory, one my grandfather-- the archetypal Pollack - would accept. A little village Jewish community on the Polish border, raped, pillaged and murdered by the epitome of evil, has won an epic posthumous victory.
My grandfather bequeathed replicas. My mother, her sister Annie, her cousins Fay and Josie, my daughters, my nieces, my granddaughters all defiantly etch, passing through the generations the esoteric beauty of the womenfolk of Praszka. And so, they will do so.

Somehow, a sniveling Jew-boy from Roundhay, Leeds grew up. Now a grandfather. I saw my grandfather broken because he was a Jew alone.
My grandson, Harel see something else. His grandfather knows King David lives, the people of Israel live. His grandfather had the pride of serving in an army who would never, ever let the Goyim, do this again. Harel's grandfather saw wars. He treated soldiers broken in mind who bore the unbroken Jewish spirit.
This snotty-nosed brat, Harel's grandfather and grandson of Praszka, co-founded a village; he helped realise the dream of thousands: establish a home in the promised land -- a home in Oranit.
Harel knows in the space of five generation we lost Praszka and we gained Oranit. Harel will look at his sisters and cousins and see the spirit of Praszka live. Five generations have taught: ' Israel’s' eternity will never deceive.' The abbreviation of our later day resistance NILI is a quote from the bible. The next line is: 'Nor will she console.'
Back in Oranit, I have a greater understanding of bridges. I bridge between five generations. I am the link between suffering and salvation. But I am more - so much more.
Praszka was the bridge between Poland and Germany, but they moved the border. The relevance of borders is they are mutable. If they are open, it matters not where they are. Germany and Poland are at peace; peace is above all.
Oranit bridges between the so-called settlements and sovereign Israel. Oranit is a bridge between Jews living the in the land of Israel and the Jews residing in the State of Israel. We are citizens, but we are not in the State of Israel. Oranit is the bridge into this forgotten reality.
Oranit is a bridge between Jew and Arab.
Oranit is a bridge in time and the cross road of Harel's future. The people have Israel must cross two bridges. They must define their State and realise neither the Land of Israel and the State of Israel are neither synonymous nor uniform.
Only the State of Israel can protect the Jews. The land of Israel most certainly, cannot. We must cross the conceptual bridge. The State must consist of self-proclaimed Israelis. They may be of any faith, but they must accept Israel as the Jewish State dedicated to defending the Jews. We must bridge being Democratic State and a Jewish State. Conceptually it is easy; narrow bridges do not work. We must build the bridge, like the State for all our citizens as equals.
Like, my grandfather, I live on a bridge. His bridge led to the ultimate Jewish slaughter. My bridge is into the future. My bridge is to bridge the chasm into fully-fledged statehood. Only then can we both defend the Jews. The conflict must pass over the bridge from an unsolvable religious feud to a manageable one between states. States make peace; religions never will.
Why am I so lucky? Moses was not allowed into the Land of Israel, I was. But I want more. In the name of my grandfather and my grandson, between whom I bridge I have bit one request. The people of Israel, living in the Land of Israel, express themselves in the State of Israel.
The Jewish State belonging to all its loyal citizens.

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