Personal musings on Israel, Jewish matters, history and how they all affect each other
FROM CAROL HERMANIt's good to travel OUT of the eye of the problem. It gives you chances to look around on different ground(s).It also presents the world as large. And, not something that needs to "shrink to fit."Alas, I do worry. And, I do compare.I know, for instance, that Jews who made it out of Eastern Europe, in waves, beginning at the start of the 20th Century; came to America and there was real pluck added to individualism. Hard work gave "parnu-sah." But more than just a living. It gave parents a chance to educate their children. And, yes, this made all the differences in the world. It let people enjoy the vast expanse of American democracy. Even though some Jews, alas, never went beyong being socialists. If your country's big enough, you can still "make it." But you need the lucky break. You need to be born, now, in a place where the rules were established long ago. By our Founding Fathers.No, our Founding Fathers weren't saints. But they didn't want to live under the thumbs of a strange king in England. While they, themselves, got shortchanged in parliament.No, I don't blame Ben Gurion for NOT reading much about America. He, too, was from Russian stock, I think. Or at least stock that's called "Beyond the Pale." English didn't interest him. And, when he did? He looked to ENgland. Because they were the oversee'ers, in Palestine. And, why not copy those idiots? Kept him from reading and analyzing what actually works.And, what: NOT. Communism, as extremist-religious nutters are two sides of the same coin. They're not part of the whole. They want to stand apart from the whole. And, lord it over the rest.What has caught so many Jews so short, was that these religious fanatics, at no time during their 2000 years on Europe, ever dreamt of taking on the kings' armies ... (Not since the 2nd Temple got lost in a frenzy to Rome). Seem to have forgotten any lessons that could have been learned!So, this time around? The nutters are producing children, breeding them, really. To grow up UNEDUCATED. And, unfit for employment. This is not a problem located in "the house of piss." This is running, now, throughout the whole system.And, if you compared your situation to America? You'd realize that from 13 colonies, democracy did blossom across a vast continent. And, beyond (Hawaii. Guam.) There are all sorts of different people, all carrying their different umbrellas. All part of the whole.And, that was the miracle of our Founding Fathers. And, their successful interpretation of PHILOSOPHY.Just in case you were wondering what happens when you turn a blind eye to philosophy; is that you lose the ENLIGHTENMENT. And, you lose respect for leadership. No. Olmert is not at fault. He was duly elected. But your system stinks. It gave Bibi a chance to sit on the sidelines; until it appears this piece of "gurnish" will win in February.While all the charges against Olmert were fabricated for the press. Just as Katsav raped nobody.But you've got people living in groups; where if they're not on the religious-nutters' side, they're happy to "go to the forum" and watch politicians thrown to the winds.SHRINKING the state is your clue something went wrong.Watching an entire generation of "yoots" who really aren't middle-class yoots, so they don't compare to the idle-ness of the "under 30 crowd" during the 1960's ... which benefitted, most of all from THE PILL. And, the changes in relationships brought about by the "new freedoms." (Knows no borders, either.) You still don't get anywhere as a society UNLESS you incorporate a DRAFT.Here? I'll bet that Obama comes up with something that will absorb American teenagers, coming out SO UNPREPARED from high schools. Believe it or not, the corrective will be to "serve." But I don't think he's going to pump up the pentagon's generals. It's going to be something "new." Even though so far no one has any idea who you "send troops" ... a Federal entity. Into America's heartlands. State's borders would have to be breached.Not that change doesn't happen.Alas, can we ever bring back that which was great at the turn of the American century, into 1900? Back then most families dreamt of schooling for their kids. BOOKS and LIBRARIES free and accessible. In case you don't believe me, I can attest how much more significance it was for a Jewish lad to go to Harvard; than to tell you the name of his rabbi.What happened to the schools in Israel? Not so insignificant that spoken, and read, English isn't currency. Like the DOLLAR, people prefer it to shekels.And, up ahead? Is Shas going to pocket the Education portfolio? They love the money!Just as Chabad is now saying "it will rebuild" in Mumbai. And, nobody asks "with what money?"Chabad has found itself a new fundraiser. You think I'm wrong? The Indian government isn't going to turn over the money. (And, buildings aren't self-sufficient. They take taking money from people a task on par with collecting taxes.)Yup. Israel will go through another election, coming up in February. Just like so much broken plumbing.And, Olmert? Nowhere he can go to reclaim his reputation. Shot to hell by idiots dumber than he. Good luck with Bibi. Wait until you smell his deals. (Someday? People could avert their eyes. In which case? Pocketbooks remain shut.) What will there be to show for so much effort?While Dubya has brought us to the brink of Hoover-villes.
FROM CAROL HERMAN, AGAINJust a thought about history. Which humans use in trying to make sense of what happened along different roads, before.We can only see in history where mistakes were made. And, where tipping points were reached. SO that shifts in the ways people lived changed, here. And, there.As much as people believe they can "hook up with their ancestors," they can't. And, if you say they can in death, all you'd mean is that when an existence ends, we know nothing of any other worlds. Some borders just can't be crossed.If you looked at the 20th Century, you'd find extreme evil, which seems to end, just the same. Just as terror ends. Sometimes "all the terrorists are dead," too. Sometimes, not. But the events themselves won't repeat.If I didn't grow up in Brooklyn, for instance, I wouldn't know that the Lubavitcher were against Israel's start, back in 1948. They said "The Messiah didn't come." Hence, Israel had no ligitimacy.You've got them now. Aliya paid them to come. And, the blood spilt in freeing Jerusalem from Jordan's hands, back in 1967. Brought them in droves. But now you've got some history.You know, for example, that the ultra-religious are zoned out against the state. And, don't participate; except in taking tax dollars. They even have rabbis who dictate to these flock that the way to feed their families is to keep voting this crap back into office.THe Shas you say "are different." And, yes. They are. Their roots are in Irak. The men beat their wives. Without giving any access to females to find safety. Or respect through LEAVING and WORKING for a living. Two sets of petunias.Where, back in 1948, since Ben Gurion didn't give a crap for American freedom. He believed wholeheartedly in the Kibbutz movement, he even farted in the general direction of Tel Aviv. Calling this city "Niniveh." Oy.Such a "saintly" leader. Didn't live by growing rich. (Which, someday? Maybe, it will be recognized as a fault?) What's so good about saints? If you knew history you'd know a lot of them were schitzophrenic; and, if not? Magicians. Where they'd fool people about miracles; by slight-of-hand "inventions."You'd also know there were things that happened in the 20th Century, that were truly miraculous for some. Arriving, as so many immigrants did, in New York City; to the Lower East Side. And, from these large families; able to cope by earning a 'parnusah' ... the children went to school. And, learned to speak English. Yiddish speaking parents spoke "the old tongue."But with the new tongue, there was a reach out to education. And, certainly following WW2 ... All wars are horrors. Those who returned, taking advantage of the GI Bill, bought homes. And, college degrees. Where they established a new class. Not the poverty class of the lower East Side.How come, when you go back? And, you see the first of TV, you see a lot of Jewish performers? Well, that's another story. But gifted artisans also had a place in America. Some honed their skills at the Borscht Belt. A venue to learn the art of entertaining crowds of people.When TV came along, our house, too, had one. And, I can still remember my mother saying out loud "Jewish." As she identified the talent.You want writers? Jewish, too. Recorders of history. Or you wouldn't be able to go back and read about the disasterous 1968 democratic convention, without Norman Mailer.Like any period of time, sometimes the world sees, on parade, the talents that were born into the good luck of timing. And, here, you should read Malcolm Gladwell's OUTLIERS. Where he shows it has not so much to do with genius; as with opportunities. And, hard work.What's ahead? Nobody knows. We're not given the gifts to foretell the future.But when there was the evacution of Gaza, something terrible happened to the "holders" of Judaism; who were given this gift by Ben-Gurion, in Israel. (Coupled to the fact that he didn't care.)I had heard, once, a story about Fidel Castro. It was said "he's a very bright man." Unfortunately, in Cuba, no one is allowed to be smarter than he. And, that's a tragedy.Today, when people look back at Dubya's presidency, they'll see something similar. He hated the arguments the very brightest tend to get into. So he lunged into a war in Irak, thinking the wind was behind him. (Winds change.) Anyone in a sail boat could have told him he needed to direct, from the bully pulpit, that which he wanted to accomplish.And, like FDR, not to touch THE THIRD RAIL.Olmert's "Third Rail?" ... not so sure. He was done in by lawyers. Who used government to schmear him with lies. And, then who keep wondering why he doesn't just topple over.And, history dies. No one wants to come forward and speak of what IS, inside the broken State. Why not? Well, it's much easier to just blame the arabs.While the arabs are a force for the worse when democracy thinks it can be defeated with ideas. Hardly likely.Made worse when nobody talks.You mean these experiences are strange to you? (Look, even the Catholics had to come to terms with the pedophile priests. Just because they got away with it for so long, doesn't mean truth can't catch up.)That's okay, though. We'll still have SPINOZA, and MARTIN BUBER, and Einstein's musings about religion, in the future. Just as we can see how America shaped up; by eschewing a separation from church & state.No. Not for everybody.But in our last election, the religious crazies on America's right went after abortion in 3 states, and LOST. And, yesterday, in the news, the LOSER of an attorney general, so far kicked out of two elected seats, in KANSAS! Is being forced to return abortion clinic documents to Planned Parenthood.To me that meant in the privacy of the voting booths, even in the "heartland of the Bible Belt" you've got more realists than losers.Oh, well. All the problems will still be here when you get back.
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