Sunday, February 13, 2011

Yechezkel, What Happened to You?

I was writing the script for DAMES of the DANCE 4 - THE PROMISED LAND, when I stopped to check on something.
I was up to DANCE 5, the dance about the prophet Yechezkel, who prophesied from Babylon at the end of the First Temple about the Temple's destruction, then about the building of the Third Temple, the resurrection of the dry bones of the destroyed people and the re-establishment of a new king. In Yechezkel 37:26, we see hope in the midst of the exile, "And I will form a covenant of peace for them, an everlasting covenant shall be with them; and I will establish them and I will multiply them, and I will place My Sanctuary in their midst forever."
While I was reading about Yechezkel, I came upon this recent Muqata blog:
It seems the tomb of Yechezkel, which is in modern day Iraq, has been turned into a mosque. The words describing Yechezkel and identifying his burial place were all plastered over.
What would happen if Israel would cover over the writings on the Al Aqsa Mosque or the Church of the Nativity? The world would go nuclear, G-d forbid. But Yechezkel's tomb is desecrated and his presence erased from his burial place, and not a peep. The fate of Yechezkel's tomb in Iraq is upsetting indeed.
But it seems to be a trend of erasing Jewish life everywhere. The Yechezkel event follows the decision by the Iranian government no longer to consider the Tomb of Mordechai and Esther in Hamadan as a protected site.

I guess countries around the world saw that Israel allowed the destruction of the Tomb of Joseph (which was recently renovated), and they took license from that act. But then again, foreign nations have been erasing Jewish presence, Jewish accomplishments and Jewish history from the time that Abraham dug his first wells through the Pharoah who forgot Joseph, all the way through the present.
Shouldn't there be some international organization that watches over holy sites around the world?

Question: Are Jewish burial places outside of the Land of Israel at risk? Certainly, they are in Arab countries, you might say.
But I remember reading a newspaper article that a famous rabbi's grave was going to be covered over in Eastern Europe to build a mall. The name of the rabbi slips my mind right now, but if you, dear reader, remember, please add his name in the Comment box.

Except for varied periods, the lives of the Jewish people were difficult in the Exile. It seems that their deaths are difficult too.

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