Friday, February 27, 2004

Still no comment
Until a year or two ago, Bish used to correspond with a professional colleague in the States, I think from a small town in the MidWest, or in the South, I forget exactly. She was really nice. Single mother, daughter in the military. When she discovered Eldest played the flute (she doesn't any more), she wrote to her to tell her about her younger daughter, who played the flute too. When violence erupted here in the fall of 2000, she wrote to Bish and suggested we came over there. What a lovely person. She said she’d help us get settled and find work. We were very touched.

In the aftermath of 9/11,when people she knew were blaming Israel, she stood up for us, although she knew little about Israel. She said it can’t be a bad place if there are people like her friend Bish living there.

I’ve read stuff since, on blogs and in other places, suggesting relocating Israel’s Jewish inhabitants in some remote area of the States. A few American Jews have written about the USA being their refuge, their solution to the danger of another Holocaust, of Jews being without defense. Their safe, happy, and affluent lives prove that Israel is not necessary, and that, as a refuge for the Jews, Israel is superfluous, more trouble than it’s worth.

Are you opposed to Zionism? Do you think Israel is unnecessary?

My world is predominantly Jewish, what do I know about living as a minority among people who are not Jewish, besides faint, distant childhood memories, and stories my parents have told me?

I bought a CD of Gospel music. I like the sound, I like that it’s sort of happy soul, blues-less blues, positive about life and accepting of death. But I feel uncomfortable to be listening to songs that repeatedly promise me that Jesus loves me. I don’t feel particularly loved by Jesus. My upbringing has left me uneasy about Christianity, some sort of ingrained insecurity.

I know so very little about Christianity. I have no idea what a Gospel is.

I am interested in people’s reactions to Mel Gibson’s Passion. Everyone is talking about it. Could this be the most interesting thing that is happening at the moment? It's a Hollywood movie for goodness sake.

Here is my friend John Williams’ reaction. He was brought up Catholic, in a country where Catholics are a minority, in a city where there were still inter-religious street fights seventy years ago, and where even today people support the local soccer teams according to their religious affiliation. Here is something “Tom Paine” wrote (pointed to by Judith Weiss who has other interesting links). He was once a Christian (I assume) and twenty years ago, as a young adult, chose to become a Jew.

I have been struggling to work out how I feel about this film, and have come up with nothing. I feel nothing.

I don’t need to worry about these things. I live in Israel.

I live in Israel so that I won’t need to worry about these things.

Shabbat Shalom.

Update: Lynn has posted in full an editorial in the Jpost which says, more or less, that maybe I'm wrong. As an Israeli, I should have an opinion in this matter. This could be true, but I still can't think of one.