General Fiction posted October 13, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
Baruch Ha Shem

Never Again!

by Bar62

Abdul Bari Jamal, a resident of the Gaza Strip has managed to stay alive within the madness of everyday life for any Palestinian man, woman or child. He has as close to a “normal” life as anyone living in the Palestinian occupied territories. Both his parents are living with Abdul in a small two-bedroom apartment.
Just three months ago, Varisha Jamal, Abdul’s highly pro-active, out-spoken mother; was released from Israeli detention for Incendiary speech’s and treasonous behavior. She had done three years in an Israeli prison. She was not the same woman that went to prison with such courage and bravado. Varisha hated the Israeli’s for what they had done to her psychologically.

Mahbubullah Jamal, Abdul’s father, continues to teach Economics at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  Abdul is in his last year of high school, and his parents want Abdul to go to college. Education is the only possible ticket out of the living hell that all Palestinians live in. Both Mahbubullah and Varisha see college as the only hope for Abdul.
Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. As a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice, Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking.

Islamic tradition states that on the night of 27 Ramadan —the “Night of Power” (Laylat al-Qadr)—Allah (God) revealed to the Prophet Muhammad the QurʾÄ?n, Islam’s holy book, “as a guidance for the people.” For Muslims Ramadan is a period of introspection, communal prayer (Salat) in the mosque, and reading of the Quran. Allah forgives the past sins of those who observe the holy month with fasting, prayer, and faithful intention.

Therefore, fasting is not merely physical but is rather the total commitment of the person's body and soul to the spirit of the fast. Ramadan is the time to practice self-restraint; a moment of time to cleanse the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one's self on the worship of God.

Abdul Bari Jamal had recently been introduced to the joys, mysteries, and camaraderie of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam! He found the meditations and the internal work demanded by the Sufi Iman to be challenging, insightful and rewarding. He had joined a Sufi Order or Tariqa, called the Qadiri Sufi Order of the Holy Land.

The substance of Sufism is the Truth and the meaning of Sufism is the selfless experiencing and actualization of the Truth. The practice of Sufism is the intention to go towards the Truth, by means of love and devotion. This is called the Tarigat, the spiritual path or way towards God. 
Having some initial training and explanation of the essential nature of meditation and fasting, gave Abdul the tools he required to make the Ramadan fast meaningful, and assisted him in many different parts of his life. He could concentrate more effectively on school. He found himself to be far less impulsive, and he moved through his days with an almost overwhelming feeling of equanimity.

But, the bottom line was still that he was a Palestinian living in an occupied country, with few rights and a rather bleak and uncertain future. The tension between Palestinian's and Israeli’s was so thick; you could slice it with a knife. Tuesday, just two days ago, two Palestinian young men entered a synagogue, Kehilat Bnei Torah in the Old City of Jerusalem. Armed with rifles and butcher knives. They killed three Rabbis’ and a civilian. The two Palestinians were killed by Israeli police, which was a “suicide” mission for the Palestinians, who have become martyrs for Allah. Abdul was physically sickened by this senseless act of desperation. He knew what to expect from the Israeli military. And that moment he noticed a growing anger taking over his entire being. This act of hatred would unleash the power of the State of Israel, he and every other Palestinian would pay for the selfish, senseless, and counter-productive bloodletting perpetrated by these two ignorant victims.

Abdul continued with his Sufi practice, trying not to let the recent increase in violence, deter his study and meditation work. He was very curious as to the thoughts of the Shaykh of his order. He stopped the Shaykh as he was moving about the flower garden.

“Excuse me, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz, may I be permitted to ask your opinion on a particular matter?” The Shaykh nodded his head.

“I have been very disturbed about the increase in violence between Israel and various Palestinian groups. This most recent incident has caused me great distress.”

“What is it that distresses you so my son?”

“Whenever Hamas or any other Palestinian group or individuals resort to a violent act against Israel, the reprisals carried out by Israel are devastating, and yet the killing and bloodshed continue. From where I’m sitting both sides are guilty of violating the basic principles of Ramadan.

“Very astute, however, you must remember that in using words to try and explain anything, you have already stepped back from the essence of what it is your attempting to gain clarity,” The Shaykh replied in a calm and steady voice.

“Would you not agree that randomly killing someone while they’re worshiping their God, blessed be his names, is a crime against humanity, a crime against God!?”

“Be careful with your words my son, words can be misinterpreted and can come back at you with teeth!”

“Thank you, blessings to you, ALLAH HU AKBAR!,” Abdul said.

“ALLAH HU AKBAR, remember, God is nothing without LOVE!” the Shaykh said gently, but with conviction.
 in Tel Aviv where Shayna Weisman and her father Mordechai lived. The Weisman’s were getting all the decorations out for Hanukah. They loved Hanukah and always went the extra distance to really enjoy the holiday. Yetti Gornishki-Weisman, Shayna’s mother {HaShem bless her soul}, was the driving force behind the extravagance of the festival of Lights. Yetti was killed in 2006, during the second Lebanon War, while doing some Hanukah shopping.

Back in Tel Aviv, on Shabazi street, Mordechai takes a moment to admire his beautiful young daughter. Shayna is his life. If anything should ever happen to her, well no need to think of such things. The doorbell rings and Shayna calls out, “I’ll get it Ahbah” She goes to the door and opens it, and standing on the threshold are Ester Frankel and Shlomo Rifkin. Shayna has not seen either one of them since the incident that occurred at Hoolasteins, a local pub in Tel Aviv. Both have known Shayna and have been good friends with her since they all went to grade school together.

There’s an awkward silence as the three young people stare at each other.

“Did you think we were going to let you decorate your place all by yourself,” Shlomo says with a big smile on his face. “I have a whole box of Mothers Mandelbrot,” he continues.”

“And I have a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne Nectar Imperial Rose. I hear tell that the grapes that were stomped on to make this Champagne comes from one of the oldest vineyards in this part of the world.” Ester says, hoping that Shayna does not hold a grudge. Shayna grabs both of her old friends, hugs them and says,

“Come on in, we just got started, and Ahbah is moving a tad slower this year.”

“I heard that,” Mordechai says from the other room.

“Look who's here Ahbah," Shayna says.

“We sure could use your artistic talents Ester, and where would we all be without the odd and bizarre creativity of Shlomo Rifkin.” Mordechai says happily content, and very pleased that his daughter is back in good standing with two very sweet and loving young people.
Maybe now she will stop thinking about that Palestinian boy, Mordechai thinks to himself.

There was a conversation taking place; it was quite lively, concerning the tactics that Hamas uses in its campaign to stand up against Israel. The question was whether suicide bombings were ultimately effective in the on-going struggle for self-determination, and self-rule in the occupied territories.

“I’m very adamantly opposed to suicide bombings as an effective tactic.” Abdul says with self-assurance.

“I disagree, I believe that suicide bombings have an impact on the entire population, said the young man with a pronounced limp, named Taj Al Din, responded to Abdul’s comment. The other young man, Jad Allah, was less intellectual and much more pedestrian. His comment was simple and straight to the point,

“ I think to take out as many Jews as we can, is all that’s important.”

This comment angered Abdul, he thought it was senseless, did not consider the ramifications and the reaction of Israel. He knew that any terrorist attack would bring with it immediate and severe reprisals. For every Israeli that was killed, you could count on 50 – 100 Palestinians that would pay with their lives, for the impulsive, selfish, and desperate act of violence.

Next day, Jad Allah was all excited and a bit jumpy. He had been chosen by the local Hamas command to lead a suicide mission inside Israel, Tel Aviv, to be more precise. He had told both Taj Al Din, and Abdul about his upcoming mission. It was to coincide with the beginning of the celebration of Hanukah. Abdul was immediately apprehensive and had grave misgivings about the mission.

“It sounds to me like a bad idea,” Abdul comments

“If you’re too scared you don’t have to come.” Jad Allah says rather curtly.

Abdul was absolutely scared; scared for Jad Allah, and Taj Al Din. He was worried about all the innocent Israeli’s that would be killed or wounded, and those who would be a parent, friend, husband, wife, son or daughter of someone who had been killed. He was especially scared of the Israeli reaction and what damage and devastation the Israeli military would inflict on the innocent Palestinians. And what of Shayna Weisman? How can Abdul Bari Jamal stop this insane act of stupidity and desperation?
Hoolasteins & Tel Aviv

“Umm, Abb, I need to talk with both of you,” Abdul says to his father.

“Abb, I need to get to Tel Aviv tomorrow, may I take the bus with you to Jerusalem?”

“Why do you need to go to Tel Aviv,” his mother, Varisha asked.

So, Abdul explains the entire scenario to his parents.

“That’s insane, out of the question!” Bulllah adamantly says.

“Who is this friend, I’ve not heard anything about a friend in Tel Aviv?” Varisha said with pain, fear, and anger in her voice.

So Abdul tells his mother about how he met Shayna, and that they had been meeting secretly for months.

“It’s impossible talking sense to either one of those buffoons, and I cannot let it happen without making sure that Shayna is safe.”

“Do you realize what risk you are running?” his father says,

“First you're putting your life in jeopardy, and our lives as well. My opinion is NO; you can’t put all our lives on the line because of your feelings for this girl.”

Abdul looked to his mother for some support but saw only a blank, cold, sad expression

“I’m sorry Abdul, but I must agree with your Abb on this; there is too much at stake, his mother said with no emotion in her voice.
Abdul was running out of options. He could not ride to Jerusalem with his father, the only option he saw was telling Jad Allah and Taj that he had changed his mind and wanted to go with them. He would figure out what to do on the way to Tel Aviv.

Shayna, Shlomo, and Ester were back at HoolaSteins, hours before it was time to light the first candle of Hanukah. As was usual, Shlomo was telling stories, keeping the crowd at the pub laughing hysterically. Mordechai was just getting off work, and about to get in his car to make the long drive home, (Approximately 84 miles or 135 km.) It would take Mordechai almost three hours to get home to Tel Aviv. Tonight, was a special night, and he did not want anything to prevent him from getting home to light the candles with Shayna.

Jad Alla, Taj Al Din, and Abdul Bari Jamal walked into HoolaSteins around 6 pm. Both Abdul and Shayna made eye contact at the same time, and Shayna knew instantly that something was not right. Abdul tried without being detected to get Shayna’s full attention, so he could warn her. Shlomo saw the non-verbal dance that the two-young people were doing. He sensed trouble. Shayna knew that something was amiss, and her training as a soldier provided her with the ability to smell trouble. But rather than leave quietly, Shayna said as loud as she could,

“Everybody needs to get out of this building immediately, right NOW!”

This announcement took the two novice terrorist by surprise. They withdrew their guns and started yelling at the customers who were running and screaming, trying to get safely outside. Jad Allah and Taj Al Din opened fire, hitting Ester in the back, Shlomo grabbed Ester, and was trying, to carry her to a safe place, a bullet in the back of the skull ended Shlomo’s life. Shayna, who always carried a pistol in her shoulder bag, withdrew it, crouched behind a table, and commenced to have a shootout with Jad Allah. Shayna hit Jad Allah in his chest; the bullet pierced his body, and exited out his back. Taj Al Din, who had the dynamite strapped to his body, screamed Allah Hu Akbar and pulled the wire connecting the dynamite to ignite!

The, explosion was massive. HoolaSteins was totally engulfed in flames, and there were not many customers alive. Both Ester and Shlomo were dead, as was Jad Allah, and Taj Al Din. Remarkably Abdul was still breathing but had lost a lot of blood and was lying on his back on a stretch of lawn in front of HoolaSteins.
Shayna Weisman was almost right on top of the dynamite when Taj Al Din pulled the wire. Pieces of Shayna’s body were strewn about the club.

The police, military personnel, emergency vehicles and the fire dept. were all on the crime scene. As soon as Abdul was awake enough to figure out what happened, he was apprehended by Israeli police and put in the back of a police van.

From Mordechai’s radio:

“We interrupt our regular programming to bring you this special report. Palestinian terrorist use suicide bomber to kill 26 young adults at a popular disco in Tel Aviv.  Three Palestinian youths were responsible for the bombing of HollaSteins Pub. Two were killed as a gunfight raged just before the dynamite that was strapped to the chest of one of the terrorists was ignited. Police say they have one of the three terrorists in custody.

“No, oh my God, no, no no,” Mordechai screams into the cold, black, empty night.


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