Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Reuven Miller, How He Heard of Betar

Written for David Sprung's Birthday

I was never a chanich or madrich in Camp Betar.

I do not come from a family of Revishionists.

My kesher with Betar began one evening as I sat and learned in the Beit Medrash of Yeshiva University in Washington Heights.

Two fellow students (I think from a Sociology course) came over to me and asked if I would be interested in joinging a protest against neo-nazis (ימ"ש) in Mid-Manhatan. There was to be a Salute To Israel rally in Madison Square Garden and we would " counter demonstate" against a neo-nazi demonstration,

These students (their names were Reuven and Nissan) were very convincing and I agreed to join them .

We got to the Garden and met a few other young people (some wearing strange looking blue shirts) who were milling around a police-cordoned off group of neo-nazis carrying signs requesting the destruction of Israel.

"Where are our signs" , I asked Genn and Teman. "What are we supposed to do here" I wanted to know.

"Wait" they said. "You will soon see."

As we waited I saw the Jews quietly walking into the Garden as the police protected "demonstraters" cursed them and Israel.

And then...

there suddenly appeared a dapperly dressed ( suit and tie)

bearded young man carrying a "James Bond" attache case.

He , without losing stride, while passing by our small group, opens the attache case, which is full of rotten eggs, throws a few at the neo-nazis , while at the same time allowing us to grab and throw eggs while at the same time continuing to slowly walk towards the Garden as he closes his now empty attache case.

As the cops came at us , night-sticks flying, and as I ran faster than I ever thought I could, I, out of the corner of my eye , see the dapper gentleman present his ticket and walk into the Garden.

As we are running Genn tells me to meet at Times Square

I somehow get there and meet the others.

We slowly limp back to the Garden where all is now quiet except for those who were had wanted to buy tickets to the Salute but found that it was sold- out.

I remember thinking that it must in interesting inside and chaval that we are not there.

But not for long...

As we are standing outside, a bit beaten but very proud, out walks that guy with that attache case, opens it up and inside are a pack of tickets for the Salute inside.

"who is he" I asked????

"Oh, that's Sprung" I was told as we entered the Garden to be seated at our reserved seats.

I know it sounds like an "urban legend" but I was there and it really happened.

Kamuvan that I now nothing could stop me from becoming one of those guys with the strange blue shirts.

We are really sorry to miss this "salute" to David. But we do "salute" him.

We all came on aliyah on our own but for me the hashpaah of David (and Beni and Reuven and Nisan and Eli הי"ד and Avi z"l and lhibadel l'chayim tovim v'aruchim all the chevrah) gave me the inpetus and the inspiration to make the move.

We are now b"H a large family (ken yirbu) of banim v'bnei banim b'Eretz Yisrael and l'David Sprung yesh cheleck b'zchut hazeh.

Reuven and Yehudit Miller

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