A Goodbye Letter

A Goodbye Letter to my rabbi, my teacher, Rabbi Meir Kahane, whom I met for the first time during my detention in the Kfar Yona Prison, and finally during my prison sentence in the Ramle Prison.

You gave me a book about faith and redemption - a magnificent work, highly to be praised - which you compiled last year while sitting in prison, in Maaseyahu Camp. There too in a small cell there came into being a powerful, glorious book which enlightens its readers with the light of Torah, just like your name, Rabbi Meir, "one who enlightens".

All respect to you for your constancy, for the powerful poetry which comes forth you must be thanked - a Priestly Blessing from the House of Prayer, exalted song rises from the tabernacle, songs, poems and chanting - in the House of Imprisonment, the sound of breaking, the sound of suffering.

You obstinately insisted on being involved in everything, on Sabbaths and week days you bore the burden, you were great! You were not afraid of dangerous criminals, of violent brutes - they were all good boys, you invited to minyanim.

You celebrated the Bar-Mitzva of a gang leader at the age of twenty, you made sure
hamentaschen would reach us on Purim, you persuaded wardens, taught Torah to the ignorant who had become heretics - and brought them back, repentant; in prison one tends to forget imprisonment - dangerous criminals, murderers, robbers praying on Sabbaths and festive days, renowned criminals fasting on Yom HaKippurim, one even agreeing to be circumcised at the age of twenty. You brought back sinners repentant, and some you even sent to study at yeshiva.

Remain strong, bear the flag forward to the Knesset, bear it on high - there you will have a suitable podium, not within prison walls, and when you are there, amongst the speakers, do not forget this prison with its detainees and prisoners, as we all sang together - for we are in Zion, and not in foreign captivity.

"Even Zion must inquire into her prisoners´┐Ż well-being", for they are your children, though they have strayed; Remember us rotting away, on occasion, in terrible conditions, in tiny cells for two, while in another room - three whole
minyanim, as they count us again and again, morning and evening as well.

Please, Rabbi Kahane, when you are released, as you make your way home, expel forgetfulness, recall every prisoner, miserable and poor, in our distress send us your blessing, for you have restored hope to the hopeless and as we all repent of our sins, bear a prayer for us at the Western Wall, that we be set free and the redemption come.

                                                  Parting and Congratulating,
                                                       Prisoners of Ramle
Adar I, 1981

Ramle Prison Convicts
Ramle Prison
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