Saturday, November 22, 2008

Light (or not) unto the Nations

We Jews have this tremendous yoke to carry. I try to take this "light unto the nations" bit quite seriously. And it depresses me when I read in the papers about the "thanks" certain people are getting for helping our country. For example, most recently I read that the State of Israel is about to raze a mosque that a Beduin IDF reservist built in an unrecognized Beduin village of Wadi el-Naam. It is build out of mud and straw and is an environmentally friendly structure. Could you imagine the outcry if a synagogue was about to be razed? The guy who built it served in the IDF from the age of 18 - 27. Now he says he wouldn't allow his son to serve in the army, and I don't blame him.

Then there is the Christian Larsen family from Denmark who moved to the Arava 13 years ago. One of their children established Desert Peace Hikes which bring together youth at risk and young people from various institutions, neglected kids basically, and take them for survival and bonding hikes in the desert. But after Sukkot the couple went to Turkey and was refused entry on the way back into Israel. The immigration police didn't provide any explanation why they were refused entry and the couple received humiliating treatment at the detention center with an official saying "she didn't care what they did" and they had to leave the country,which they did eventually. One of the officers said to them at the detention center cell, "here you'll do what I tell you or I'll make you suffer - a lot".

I ask - is this how we are a light unto the nations? I want to cry when I think how fucked up we are.

Then there's the religious infighting. Yaakov Litzman, an ultra-orthodox member of parliament showed up at a family celebration and someone threw kugel at him. That was pretty funny, at the same time as it was sad, I must admit, and I told Hubby if they were really pissed off at him, they should have thrown a more messier cholent at him instead.

And the settlers in Hebron have once again vandalized a Moslem cemetery and have written "Mohammad is a pig" graffiti on a mosque wall. Some Light we are.

But I also saw that the Breslov Hassidim put in a full page ad for bringing Rabbi Nachman's body to Israel to Jerusalem, which they hope will bring peace to our city, unite our peoples in the knowledge of God, and make us a prosperous nation as a result of this inevitable peace between us all.

And my friend Eliyahu had an interfaith Shabbat this weekend, because included in the Torah portion of the week is the story that Isaac and Ishmael both came together in the end to bury their beloved father Abraham. I was stuck at home in Maaleh Adumim this Friday night and couldn't attend, but was happy nontheless that I do see a spark of light at the end of this awfully long dark tunnel.

4 comments:

Josh One said...

read more here:
http://joshberer.wordpress.com/2008/11/22/saving-the-straw-bale-mosque/

jerusalemgypsy said...

Thanks Josh. Good to see you were there. Had I been able to take the day off work, I would have been there too for support.

Anonymous said...

I think the Light unto the Nations is a noble idea but its execution is a bit fucked up (sometimes!).
It would be a good thing of all nations thought of themselves as a Light onto the Nations and wanted to serve as a good example to everyone, no?

The code of morality could be the Ten Commandments for I fail to see anything wrong with it. It is simple and straightforward.
Anna

lars shalom said...

i mean still in the mental hospital, rehab now, but thats where i do the drugs