Faigy, USA

September 11, 2011

Hi!

I’m from new York. i’m chabad if you heard about it. were kinda all over the world. i just came back from Israel a month ago spend a month there and love it. i’m 2nd to youngest like to do hikes nature. i never really stop talking and i’m homeless now!

Is their a pen pal system in the army where you can send mail to soldiers that’s not relative to you?

What you opion on whats happening in israel now all the bombing? do you think the army should just go into gaza and blow them up kill them out?

Thanks for contacting me! I know Chabad very well, I was involved with Chabad for a significant majority of my time at Cornell University and even spent some time at a Chabad Yeshiva in New Jersey – Tiferes Bachurim.

I’m not sure if there is a specific pen-pal system, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were local synagogues or Jewish organizations in your community that have programs that are similar or exactly like you describe. Of course, you can always write me and the other soldiers on Friend a Soldier, we would be happy to speak with you!

The question you ask about Gaza is a difficult one. Of course, I believe that the Israeli government should take whatever measures necessary to defend our citizens from rocket attacks and security threats from the fanatical terrorists groups in Gaza. However, it is important to remember that there are many innocent civilians in Gaza that are not involved in the violence, and I believe those individuals have the right to security and freedom, just as we do. Israel should respond forcefully to violent provocations, but we should also negotiate with our Palestinian partners in order to find solutions that have so far eluded us for over four decades. It doesn’t seem realistic to believe this conflict can be solved through violence. Both populations must come to this realization before progress can truly be attained.

Wishing you health and happiness in 2011,

Avi

You went to yeshiva? that’s cool how was, i know my brothers complain all day about yeshiva how bad it is!

In Gaza their are many innocent people who are brought up to kill and hate Jews and brainwash with only god knows what else, i don’t think that’s innocent people do you?

About the pen pal thing i don’t think my community will offer something like that i’m from crown heights where anything out of the usually you do that no one else does will mess up my future and my family name! kinda wired to explain how you need a good name for anything!

Hi Faigy,

Attending yeshiva was an interesting experience, but ultimately, it wasn’t for me. I don’t consider myself religious in the traditional sense, but I really enjoyed learning about Judaism and the great Jewish scholars during my time there.

You are correct by stating that many people in Gaza are brought up with teachings to hate Jews and Israel, and that bigotry and racism is common there.  We shouldn’t forget that there are similar sentiments towards Arabs from the Jewish community in Israel, especially the religious community. Both sides must learn to combat such hostility through proper education, interaction and trust-building projects that will help minimize such negative feelings towards the “other.” Brainwashing here in the region is a two-way street.

Additionally, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip deserve safety, security, and the right to self-determination just like Israelis do. Just because individuals hold hateful or jaded opinions of another ethnicity, race or religion doesn’t mean they deserve to perish. We need to work to change general public opinion among the Palestinians and Arabs in general, but how is that possible while Israel retains such strict authority over many aspects of their lives and livelihood? When innocent people who haven’t even lifted a rock against Israel are accidentally killed in airstrikes, anti-Israel sentiment grows stronger. We will never truly establish peace here if such hateful feelings continue to fester because of this bitter conflict and the injustices done to both sides.

I would be surprised if some in Crown Heights didn’t support such an initiative, especially if it was geared towards religious soldiers. It never hurts to ask!

Best,

Avi

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