Dreaming of Moshiach

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mayor of Entebbe: Creator Loves Jewish Nation

Not many of us know to identify of even pronounce names of cities in Africa but Entebbe is embedded in everyone's mind, even the young children. It was over 30 years ago that operation Entebbe occured, when HaShem gave the Government of Israel the courage to fight terrorism and succeed to unimaginable heights, just as what happened in Purim.

Stephen Kabuye is the Mayor of Entebbe and was also the Mayor when the miracle of Operation Entebee took place. This week he arrived in Israel for a 4-day visit. "I feel infinite admiration for the Jewish nation and every day, I realize that the Creator of the World is stretching out His hand to His nation." In Uganda, the Mayor of Entebbe heard about the "Spiritual Shepherd," Harav Amnon Itzchak Shlita, and requested a meeting with the Spiritual Sheperd at the Shofar headquarters during his 4-day visit.

The Mayor came to Shofar headquarters without his entourage or bodyguards to meet the Rav and the meeting was for over an hour in the office of Rav Yitzchak Shlita. The African Mayor of Entebbe announced to the Rav that he is a "Shomer Shabbat Catholic." He doesn't follow the traditions of Judaism but in his words, "Moses (Moshe Rabenu, zs'l) brought down from heaven the Ten Commandments and it says to observe the day of Shabbat. All that was said in the Ten Commandments I observe, even though I am not Jewish." Everyone at Shofar headquarters was very surprised to hear this but the Mayor continued to surprise even more, "I observe more than just the Ten Commandments, I don't eat forbidden foods. I never touched a pig; not me and not my family. No way! I never eat fish that does not have the 2 kosher signs, scales and fins." When he was asked the reason, he was not able to explain...

The Rav told him that amongst the nations of the world, there are some tribes that observe Jewish traditions and there are those who claim to be the descendants of the 10 lost tribes. The Mayor was quick to 'correct' the Rav because ...there are 12 tribes and not 10. The Mayor said he never heard from his forefathers that they descended from Jews. "I envy the Jews," he announced, "You have heritage and for thousands of years you observe it, from generation to generation. Your faith is ancient and despite all the suffering of the Jewish nation, the heritage was preserved and never damaged. This confirms how much G.od loves you. He protects you, He spreads protection on you always, you are blessed and He saves you in every situation. By us in Uganda, we have no past and no future. Who knows how long we will survive, if we will survive at all? But the Jewish nation is eternal and blessed. Giagantic nations of the world and their history disappeared. I think about the splitting of the Red Sea when the Eygptians were running after you, you entered the water and the water splits for you, and the Eygptians were a strong and powerful nation and they all drowned. And you are here. Anyone who cannot see this cannot understand how much the Creator of the World loves you...."

When the Mayor was asked what is the reason he observes Shabbat, he surprised everyone with his natural faith, as if his answer was taken from Judaism that he never even studied. "There are 3 reasons I think it's important to observe the Shabbat: First, it proves that the Creator of the World did create the world in 6 days and on the seventh day, rested. I also do not work on the seventh day. Second, the Shabbat is holy and G.od blessed this day. This is the reason I do not observe Sunday as a holy day although I am a christian. Third, I rest on Shabbat and G.od also rested on Shabbat."

The mayor continued surprising the Shofar organization people. He asked, "Before coming to Israel, there was someone who wanted to bring you to Uganda - right?" His innocent question was as if Herzel's vision is part of the Jewish faith. "Yes, Hertzel wanted to bring us there, to you, instead of the Holy Land." In a joking way the Rav said, "If this plan would have materialized, today you would have been the Mayor of Bnei Brak in Uganda." Everyone laughs but the Mayor is serious, "It's such a shame you didn't come to Uganda!." "Why," we ask, "What do the Ugandis need us for?" The Mayor answers, "If the Jews would have come to Uganda, the agriculture would have looked totally different. We would have progressed in technology and mostly, we would have been blessed because of you. Look what the Creator gives you here in Israel within a few short years. You don't even know how to appreciate it."

The Entebbe Operation was also discussed and as a non-Jew, he surprised everyone that way he clearly sees only Divine Intervention. "In my opinion the entire operation was successful because G.od protected you - if Yoni Netanyahu (zs'l) would have survived," he explains, "they would have attributed the success of the operation to him and not to the Creator of the World. In order for everyone to absorb and know that the success comes from Go.d and not from a person, Yoni had to pay the price with his life and be considered a 'hero', but not as someone who brought the tremendeous success. This was a lesson for the entire world to see and learn."

We were all astounded by his way of thinking. We ask him, "If you are so sure that the Creator fights for the Jewish nation like in the Entebbe Operation, why do we not see this now? How is it we lost against an ephemeral army of the Hizbala? How is it that the Hamas is succeeding in Sderot in Askhelon?" The Mayor answers, "In order that G.od should always protect you, you need also to protect Him but sometimes you distance away from Him and He decides to bring you closer to Him this way."

Question: "You believe so much in G.od, do you pray to Him?"
Mayor: "Of course. Every night at 3 in the morning."

Question: "From a prayer book?"
Mayor: "Yes, but not fixed chapters. I get up and talk to Him.. Ask from Him what I need, for my country, for my family."

Question: "You wake up and speak to G.od from bed?"
Mayor: "No, I get dressed in His honor, speak with Him and then I return to bed."

Question: "Why at 3 in the morning?"
Mayor: "Because at this hour, me and Him are alone in the world and no one is bothering us."

If you are still not convinced that the Mayor has a very special and unique soul of a non-Jew, something we never encounted till today, here is some more information about his family. Mayor Stephen Kabuye has 3 children and not long ago, adopted an 18 month year old baby girl he found on the street. Together with his wife, they decided that instead of placing the baby in an orphanage, they will adopt her and bring her to their home. "Why?," we ask him. "She reminded me of... baby Moses in the ark when the daughter of Pharoah found him and brought him specifically to the palace."

Towards the end of the visit, the Mayor of Entebbe asks that we write for him the pasuk "Shema Israel," because he feels much holiness emerges from it. Before leaving, he requests that HaRav Amnon Yitzchak Shlita blesses him. "Which blessing should I give you?," asks the Rav. The Mayor again surprises with his answer, "Bless me that I'll be an example for others and for my country." The Rav blessed him and added, "Based on your character, you will yet be the President of Uganda."

When the meeting ended, HaRav Amnon Yitzchak Shlita said, "Only in the future will will know the purpose of this meeting and what brought him here. The Blessed One does not just spin things in His world for nothing, in the end, the 'secret' will be revealed. This man spreads the faith in G.od amongst the nations of the world and raises Am Israel's ray above all nations."




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו