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Photo: Tzafrir Abayov
Dudu celebrates
Photo: Tzafrir Abayov
Tears of a nation
Entire nation moved by Sderot boy fearing no one would attend his Bar Mitzvah

On Tuesday of this week, a 13-year-old boy received something even the chief of staff is finding it hard to come by: A telephone call from the prime minister. It happened at Dudu Hadad's Bar Mitzvah celebration held at the abandoned city of Sderot.

 

One had to be in Sderot Tuesday to get a sense of proportion, to understand the gigantic gap between the childish conduct of the State's leadership and the maturity demonstrated by its citizens.

 

People had to see for themselves Olmert's and Peretz's foolish games of cat and dog and to see how irresponsible and humiliating their conduct is to the backdrop of the desperate reality in which citizens are living.

 

How is it that the two people who are expected to put their differences aside during such times of need manage to convey such discord?

 

The security of the State is so complex, the dangers so real, the state of mind so despondent and the leadership vacuum so apparent – but the State's leadership is occupied with who will call who, did the defense minister lie or not, and will Olmert demonstrate the required decisiveness and replace the defense minister, with whom he is no longer able to work with?

 

The tears of one child

Perhaps they should have come to Dudu's Bar Mitzvah Tuesday to learn something about their own people. Six years of Qassam barrages and the continued cry of a city that has been forgotten were unable to do what the tears of one boy did.

 

The boy from Sderot, who appeared on nationwide TV Sunday, was talking about the preparations for his Bar Mitzvah when all of a sudden, without any prior warning, he broke into heartfelt tears. He had held back the tears for several minutes until he could no longer keep the dam from bursting. I am afraid no one will come, he said in desperation.

 

On Tuesday evening, while his friends were enjoying themselves at the expense of mogul Arcadi Gaydamak in Eilat, where many of Sderot's residents are now staying, Dudu's Bar Mitzvah celebration took place at the Kazablan banquet hall located in Sderot's industrial area.

 

Cars from all over the country made their way to the abandoned ghost town. People who couldn't remain indifferent to Dudu's plight came to Sderot from far and wide to celebrate with the Hadad family.

 

It appeared as if no Qassam rocket could have stopped the people of Israel flocking to celebrate Dudu's Bar Mitzvah.

 

You are not alone

You are not alone, Dudu was told by hundreds of people whom he had never met. They hugged him, showered him with gifts, sat around the family's table and shook the hands of the city's residents.

 

They had their pictures taken together just like one big family: The police commissioner, Knesset members, artists, singers, and media people – they were all there. Most of them didn't have the foggiest idea what they would do if the "color red" rocket alert system would sound.

 

But who cared. They came for a single purpose: To wipe away the tears of the nation.

 

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