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Thursday, September 11, 2003

In Israel

I am a naturally cynical person. Or maybe it's that I was raised to be negative. Either way, I have spent many years, having realized this personality flaw, trying to become a positive person. I have made tremendous progress, I think. A few more years, and I think I may have it down pat. In the meantime, I'm still working.

When things happen like they happened yesterday in Israel, it makes it so much harder. I get a frog in my throat every time I think about it, about the more famous deaths of Dr. Applebaum and Kallah Naavah, z"l, the feeling of your chest sort of sinking and your head hanging as that big sigh takes all the air out of you. It's that "here we go again" sigh where there's nothing to say and even prayer can just seem irrelevant (G-d forbid), where you mechanically turn on the TV to watch the images and here the numbers roll in. That feeling of disgust and loathing like your heart is erupting, and yet the sense that you're just too calloused by all of this to feel anything at all. A feeling of utter weakness and patheticness and sourness - you know exactly what I'm talking about.

But you know, people.... there's only one thing to do.

Get over it.

I don't mean don't mourn, I don't mean don't cry and reflect on what it all means. I don't mean turn the music up and pretend there's no pain and loss, no fear and frustration, and that everything's really great. What I mean is feel it - and get over it. The problem I'm addressing is our tendency to sort of throw our hands up and say "to hell with it all, I can't change any of this, I give up." It's our way of blaming it all on the Government (hey - I'm not saying you're even the slightest bit wrong about that) and saying "what Sharon ought to do is..." or "If he'd only do THIS, than none of this would have ever happened!" or everyone's blanket favorite "This government is sending us right down the drain." Maybe you're right about all of that. Maybe. But frankly, what does that matter - like you said, there's nothing you can do.

Or is there?
For starters, how about not totally playing into the hands of the Arab terrorists, (Imach Shem Am!) and feeling defeated? How about overcoming them AND yourself, and doing something - anything? Say those tehillim, plan your trip to Israel, keep telling everyone Israel's the best country on earth!

And for those of us with higher cosmic awarenesses and senses of national identity - ever thought about totally throwing those bastards for a loop and doing the exact opposite of what they want? Like personally seeing to it that your little corner of the world is all about Jewish unity, building, love and life. Like casting off a life of mournful head-wagging in front of our American TV sets when we see news on Israel, and actually being news makers - IN Israel. Like putting our money where our mouths are and actually going to Israel and making this project work. Like FULLY investing yourself in it by being a real part of it, someone who lives on the Land and is part of everything that is the real Israel. Thought about it?

I have.

So I'll be taking my reformed-cynic, post-crying self to Israel, and I'll be living there, come hell or high water. I hope you'll join me. It's the right thing to do.


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