Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Vulgar and the Spiritual

As I was cutting up watermelon last night, I had an overwhelming sense of spiritual awareness sweep over me. The watermelon was so red, so juicy, so wonderfully tasty, that I couldn't help but marvel at the greatness of this summer fruit and thanked God for creating such a wonderful food.

But the spiritual feeling of my watermelon moment didn't stay with me for long. My son wanted some quality time with me. Quality time for a 16 year old boy is quite different from when he was 6 and wanted me to read him a story, usually one of his "Franklin" books. Nowadays it's "come watch the game with me" "come watch Survivor with me" and on Monday it was "come watch the movie Jackass with me." Which I did. It was so friggin' vulgar. Even more vulgar than me or anyone else in my family. But it was also so hilarious and I actually enjoyed watching those people putting leeches on their testicles, shitting in a doll house (the camera panning in first to shit coming down from the ceiling, after which you see it isn't a giant who took a shit in someone's house, but a doll house), the funniest part I thought was fake balls put sticking out of the "old man's" shorts and the reactions to that from people to the dog who decided it was his next snack. I was howling loud enough, waking up the sleeping people in my home. The next morning I tried to explain to the educated and cultured folk at my work about the movie, and they nodded while I regaled them with specific scenes.

Tonight - less crass quality time with my son, as we sit down to watch the soccer game between Poland and Betar Jerusalem. Last time we watched Poland play Betar, I was rooting for Betar, screaming at the Poles, cursing at them for even daring to score one goal and blaming them for the way they treated the Jews during World War II. Tonight won't be much different.


Anonymous said...

It is a bit sad that you think Poles treated Jews badly during WWII. Do you know some of the amazing stories of how Poles helped the Jews survive? Do you know that for helping Jews hide there was a death penalty for the family? Seems to me it would be good to get some education on the subject.


jerusalemgypsy said...

I don't 'think' Poles treated Jews badly. I know they did. Most of them anyways. There were a minority who, at the risk of their lives, helped hide Jews and they are justly honored as righteous gentiles at Yad Vashem. I've been reading up on the Holocaust ever since I was 8 years old so there's quite a few decades of education there. Most Jewish victims/survivors of the Holocaust say the Poles were worse than the Germans. They were often told horrible things about the Jews in Church. So that is truly sad, isn't it? I went to see a Holocause survivor of Auschwitz today tell her story. She came from Hungary. When she was 16 she was deported - many of her neighbors, who she thought were her friends and schoolmates laughed as the Jews were kicked out of their homes. It was a horrible eye opener for her. My relatives who were killed on my mother's side were Polish. Most couldn't wait for the Jews to leave so they could 'take over' the homes and their stuff. THAT is sad. And when the Jews came back to Poland after the war, there were pogroms and many Jews were killed. See this, as an example:

Anonymous said...

And do you know of the MANY wonderful stories of how Poles helped the Jews? One journal that often prints these stories is called Polin. Please have a look.
I have a surviving Jewish relative who tells his story everywhere he can: that he survived only thanks to the kindness of many Polish people.
My own grandfather survived Auschwitz (a miraculous story, really) and so I know his stories very well too.
I suggest you refrain from using such broad descriptions as Poles were worse than the Germans. You know, the Germans were the Nazis, not the Poles.
Words can be very hurting. I hope you know it.


jerusalemgypsy said...

OK Anna - I'll try to be more positive. It's hard when it gets personal. My Polish (Jewish) mother was 8 years old when she opened the door to her home to find her father and grandfather murdered in her home during a pogrom during the early 1920s. Her mother died shortly afterwards and she wandered from relative to relative until she landed in Vienna.

On the positive side - from what I do know - some 5,400 Poles were honored by Yad Vashem for saving Jews. Pretty good number of people who risked their lives.

jerusalemgypsy said...

And besides, the Polish soccer team kicked Betar Jerusalem's ass the other day. Maybe that was God's revenge for me ranting and raving against the Poles. I think the score was 5-0.

Anonymous said...

Hello again,

And also please of the people of all nationalities who were not honored at Yad Vashem because their stories will be never told (different circumstances). I read some amazing oral accounts of stories that fill be never documented in full because there is not enough information to validate and verify everything. Polish and Jewish shared history was difficult at times but there were also many very bright and beautiful stories. I just wish they were exposed more. But in the media "what bleeds, leads" which means that tragedy always takes precedence over the good things.

I also ponder the incredible difficulty people in Poland had when it came to hiding the Jews under the death penalty for the family. If the situation was reversed and you were a Jew forbidden to hide the Poles and you were a mother with small babies, would you immediately and FOR SURE take the Poles in (knowing that you will all perish if the Poles are found). I want to believe that I would know what to do but can I be sure?

I have long stopped caring for sports events. It does not bother me that others do but i try to focus on real serious matters. Sports are great but I do not get the nationalistic competition. Poles lately lost a soccer match with Germany. You can imagine for who I would root if I was into the rooting at all.
Instead, I cooked a meal. :)

lars shalom said...

more stuff about ww2, read this post to the end...