Sunday, April 29, 2007

It's Official...We're Rednecks....

Mossa'ei Shabbath Parshath Aharei-Qedoshim 5767

Pick-Up TruckOh, I have no doubt that some of you will be offended by this post, and not just you in the Efrat-Ofra-Alon Shvuth-"You're hurting our precious image!"-PR crowd.

That's just too bad.

Hey, I'm not above qualifying, nor even apologizing in advance for blog posts, but this ain't gonna be one of 'em!

Let me start by asking you this:

Mythical Weapons StashWhich group of people drives dusty, old pick-up trucks, raises livestock, lets its kids run around barefoot, often lives in mobile homes, and accused of being religious fanatics and possessing mythical stashes of weapons and ammunition?

Hmm...? Rednecks, you say?


You got it! Jewish "settlers!"

Well,...not all of us would say so, but I will address that momentarily....

This comparison was pointed out to me some time ago. My reaction was an extended pause, followed..."Yeah, I guess we do all of those things, don't we? I hadn't thought of that."

Trailer ParkAfter three years of living in half of a "qaravan" (mobile home) in the town of Ofra, the other half having been inhabited by a new immigrant from Canada (not that there's anything wrong with that), I swore (b'li neder) that I'd never call anyone "trailer trash" again.

Plastic FlagsBut, now it's official. The powers that be in my town, the illustrious (or infamous, depending upon whom you ask) K'far Tapu'ah decided that it would be decorative (I guess that's what the motivation was) for Israeli Independence Day to hang up some of those tacky, plastic, strung-together flags around the town, those flags that one generally finds at a gas station, used car lot, or trailer park.

What were they thinking? I guess it's not considered tacky in Israel, but I'll bet that you Ramath Beth Shemesh (not that there's anything wrong with that) types are cringing at the thought of such flags gracing your neighborhood, well you should!

As I hinted above, not everyone residing in Yehudah and Shomron would be pleased with the comparison between "Settlers" and American rednecks.

No, we're not any of those things!" they would cry out.

"We're just your typical suburban, Jewish families with white picket fences."

And they would be correct, leaving out, of course, the part that when some of them are asked by their children, "Are we living on Jewish land? Or are we squatters on Arab land?" they hem and haw and don't know how to respond. Frustrated, and bored out of their minds, their children go hang out in Jerusalem,...searching for what? I'm not sure they even know.

Typical suburbanites. I'm not trying to put down my fellow Jews, Has we'Hallilah. Rather, a few holes punched into their system of denial might do them a bit of good. That may sound condescending, but it's true. Remember, we're talking about some of the same Jews who were silent about the sin of the security fence, or even supported it. After all, their towns were included within the fence's route.

Irrational beliefs such as "The government will never throw US out of OUR houses." isn't going to work for them much longer. Likewise, neither will "My teenager hanging out in a place called 'Crack Square' couldn't possibly be a warning sign"

On the other hand, one resident of Kokhav Ya'aqov takes exception with my differentiation between "settlers," suggesting that he isn't any less of a settler than we are out in the middle of nowhere in K'far Tapu'ah, getting ours dirty. I must say that over time my respect for this Jew has risen, recognizing that he demands his "settler" status, and takes pride in it.

I recall that when I still lived in Ofra, and looking for another town more suitable for me, I was accused by a certain resident of Itamar of "living in Jerusalem's backyard" (just like those in Kokhav Ya'aqov). Although I agreed with her, I defended Ofra as residents continued to believe that agriculture is, indeed, a "Jewish profession," along with medicine, law, and high-tech.

Being a "settler" isn't just where you live, it's supposed to be about what you believe.

...and, in my humble opinion, not worrying about what "others" think.

Taking this a step further, and focusing on the politically-incorrect, "fanatic" element mentioned above, Rav Binyamin Kahane HY"D once said something like:

"Let them all think we're crazy 'settlers.' Then maybe they'll leave us alone."

Oh, gee. There. I went and done it,...mentioned the "K" word.

GoatsOh, yeah, I haven't forgotten that there will be those of you who are offended at "hutzpah" to quote Rav Binyamin HY"D, and probably in your "very humble" opinions, quoting him out of context.

But he was right; he IS right. We're either right and need to stand by what we're doing, or we're wrong and don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to defending our presence in Yehudah, Shomron, and for that matter Azza.

if that means driving around in dusty, old pick-up trucks, raising livestock, letting our kids run around barefoot, living in mobile homes will help us in our fulfillment of the misswah to settle the land, and being passionate about Torah means that we're religious fanatics, and everyone in K'far Shmaryahu and Ramath Aviv Gimmel believe we possess weapons stashes (Arab terrorists tremble in their terrorist shoes at the thought of my set of kitchen knives and spray bottles filled with bathroom cleanser), then so be it.

Maybe they will leave us alone.


For your convenience, so that you can follow along with the various location names mentioned here, I have included this map:

Map of Yehudah and Shomron


Jack Steiner said...

Jewish rednecks- Makes sense to me. ;)

Lion of Zion said...

great post

Rafi G. said...

ow take umbrage at the use of such a word, as it implies they are using agression and taking something that does not belong to them. They usually insist on not using the word "settler", rather an Israeli living in Shomron.

Nertalmid said...

Hey, we at least shot our guns up in and air and hoop and holler...except when Arabs are around.

Great post...I intend to write more later.

Esser Agaroth said...

B"H Rafi, Why does "redneck" imply that? BTW, who's "they?" I'M "they!" My whole point was to put down the whole apologetics/PR-oriented segment in Ye"Sh,...unfortunately such "Israels or Jews" living in the Shomron, have a pretty loud and seem to be in the majority.

Anonymous said...

From Daniel OrHai
Bozeman, Montana

When I saw this blog listed from I had to post the following:

You Might Be a Jewish Redneck If ...

You think that marrying your first cousin is not only permitted, but biblically mandated 

Your home is mobile and your sukkah ain't 

You have a gun rack in your sukkah 

Your idea of Shalosh Seidos is a six pack of beer and some Redman 

Ad Lo Yoda applies just about every night. 

You speak more English than your shul president 

You light Shabbat candles from your cigarette 

The only plant in your home is your lulav 

The only area on your lawn that is mowed is the spot where you burn your Chametz 

Your idea of bathing is using the mikvah 

Your siddur lists the Sabbath greeting as : "Shabbot Shalom Y'all" 

Your Shabbat suit was a blue light special at K-mart 

Willie Nelson sang at your Bar/Bat Mitzvah 

Your local scribe shoots his own parchment 

You've ever used the theme to "Rawhide" as a tune for the Kedusha 

You've ever fired a shotgun at the sound of Haman's name 

Your belt buckle is bigger than your Yarmulke 

You give Ma'aser from your spittoon 

A tish just ain't a tish without a bugzapper 

You've ever called the "Psychic Friends Network" to answer a halachic question 

When you hear the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, you let your hunting dogs loose 

You know what Barach to make when you see a UFO 

Your Rabbi ever yelled "Yee-Haw" during his sermon 

You think the mechitza is an Italian food 

You think a hora is a high priced call girl 

You keep a can of spray paint in your Tallis bag 

You know which brand of grits have an acceptable Kashrut supervision 

If your Omer counting calendar has ever come up with three cherries in a row

Your belt buckle is bigger than a yarmulke.

You don't ride on Shabbat because your car is up on blocks.

When someone shouts "l'chaim!" you respond "l'howdy!"

You are saving a bottle of Mogen David for a special occasion.

Your favorite beverage is a combination of Manischewitz & Mountain Dew, better known as "Mountain Jew"

Willie Nelson ever sang at your Melaveh Malkah

All you gotta do is cut the grass to find your succah.

You spend an hour with your chevrusah debating whether Jethro was 'yoitzeh' with that gartel...

You drive Bais Yaakov carpool in a pick-up, with all the kids sitting in the bed of the truck.

When the machers give a kiddush, its chitlins for the entire tzibbur and the Coors flows like water baby!!!!!

You drive Bais Yaakov carpool in a pick-up, with all the kids sitting in the bed of the truck.

You hunt deer and then perform shchitah on it.

In place of a curtain on the Aron Kodesh, there is Rebel flag.

You're shul is in a trailer on cinderblocks.

Your cowboy hat has to be black

Esser Agaroth said...

Um,...David, that's not what I had in mind. I think I've created a monster. (sigh) My biggest issue is that "spray paint in the tallis bag." The spray paint is for anti-government graffiti and we don't need a "bag" because we're not ashamed to wear our "tallith" all day long, as it should be. In hutz laAretz I imagine that can be difficult, especially it those real rednecks mistake you for an "Ai-rab."

Rafi G. said...

"redneck" was not the word I was referring to. "settler" was

Esser Agaroth said...

Oh, got it. I misunderstood. I agree with you. "They" do prefer to be called "Israeli" (Read: "not Jew"). I stand by my post; I don't care what "they" think.

Nertalmid said...

There is a great line from a wonderfully bizare movie called "Brazil". In it, the main character keeps running into an anti government "terroist"...who tells him "remember we are all in this together". In Israel, all of us Jews are in this together. This silliness of whether one settlement is a suburb of Jerusalam as opposed to another Yishuv only promotes disunity and lack of Ahavat Israel. I am proud to live in a Yishuv and it is called Immanuel...OK, we have our problems, but still we are all working on Yishuv Eretz Israel. I may be called to task for this...but all Jews in Israel...are doing the the Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Israel. From planting trees, flowers, to fixing up on an old house or apartment, to workers puting up roads and buildings, etc(with the exception of the stupid Great Wall of Israel) we are in this together. We need to unite and have Ahavat Israel and make this country more of Paradise and work towards a better future.

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