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Running on Jewish Time

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Memory of the Nine Days

Just came across something that I wrote during the Nine Days last year. Even though Tu B'av is tommarow, I thought it would be appropriate:

Talking to the Outside

I grew up an Orthodox Jew, still am. A slightly different stripe, more into Torah, than modernity, but its hard to keep up with something that changes everyday.

Growing up Jewish, living with 3500 years of history, all tripping off the tip of the tounge every time we eat a piece of bread.

We live in an entirly different world from the life of McDonalds and Nike and PBS, where the spirit is always reaching beyond the law. Where everything matters.

Then what do we do when we meet that World? You know, the one everyone calls the outside world, the real world, not the one I grew up in.

We're different, so you always been a little afraid of us, and always hated us a little bit for it.

Okay. I know we dress funny, but it wouldn't hurt to get to know us.

You like to paint us as victims of millenea of pursecution, I guess we are. But we don't feel like victims. We don't feel like we've been wronged and need you to us back. You can pass judgement on yourselves, we just talk to G-d. After all, we are a nation that is acutely aware of the curious charector of history, we're still here.

We aren't victims, we aren't pawns in the hands of a brutal world. We know that our future in not in our hands, and it sure ain't in yours either.

Homocide Bombers, UN Resolutions, Iranian weapons, we know all about those. But how's it so different from the Nuremburg Laws, French collaborators, and the silent West? Or Cossacks and Crusaders and the Pale of Settlement?

You've always tried to draw our borders, deliniate the space and freedom in which we may live. We don't like it but it never touches the heart of us.

You stormed into our Temple and saw an empty room and mocked us for what you thought wasn't there.

That hurt. But that building you burnt down, still stands, within the people themselves.

And always will.

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