Thursday, February 19, 2009

More on Half Full and Like Issues


"...Since comrades may be politically incorrect, Khavayrem

I suppose we all have this pekl, that we carry around, and it is full of stuff. Stuff being life experiences, some we actually personally experience like the time I got kneed in the baytzem by a public school anti semite, and some we absorb somewhat fun der vytense, like the holocaust. Growing up Jewish in Wasp Toronto, I was aware that I was an outsider who endured much harrasment, making sure I didn't walk home from school alone.

My first inkling of diversity in Jewish life, occured while attending shulla on Brunswick Ave. The building next door housed the Tulmud Torah: a group of Jewish kids with whom I had no identification. These were kids whose curriculum had nothing to do with ours. They were not the enemy by any means, but yet they threatened my identity, and as a Jew, where I was also out of the mainstream.

This was pre Israel, but the Hebrew they learned, secured their connection with the future state. On my one trip to Israel, I too felt a rush of emotion when I encountered the wall. In my pekl there are the crusades, the inquisition, and well, we all have the same list, and they all contribute to that emotion. Notwithstanding that secular Jews were in the forefront of the establishment of Israel, it is my impression, that secular influence is on the wane, and the kids from the Tulmud Torah are waxing.

On my trip we went to a Kibbutz. We were shown a small shul, but were told "nobody goes there". That was 25 years ago, but now the kibutsim have lost their significance. One of the delights on that trip was being able to speak in Yiddish with some "survivors".While I fully support the existence of Israel, my emotional attachment is less than before. Like a love affair, when your lover pushes you away , even though you try to hang on. There is so much about the country that angers me.

I suppose it is partly because they want to be a country "like any other country", and I grew up believing that there is something about Jewish culture that is special. We wrote the book on do unto others, have we now added before they do onto us? We will never be able to define,or describe what Zionism should be. Within Israel there is so much diversity, look at the election results. Imagine, an Israel where labour is sucking a hind teet. This is not the Israel I know. I really don't recognise the place from my Yiddish upbringing. And yet so much that draws me.

Utter confusion..."

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