Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Can Blogs Kill People?

Can blogs kill?

Well, if one holds by the old adage that "Guns don't kill people, rather people kill people", then the answer would be no, Blogs don't kill people, but bloggers do.

What am I talking about? Read on.

The Israeli / Jewish Blogsphere has recently suffered a tragic loss, in the form of a blog-icide or a blog-slaughter.

Blog of a death foretold

The suicide of Meirav Kanner, known online as Rapunzel, continues to resound through the Israeli blogosphere. Following her death on June 17, there have been calls to define the limits of online discourse in order to minimize harm to the people behind the blogs...

In the last few weeks of her life, Kanner's emotional state apparently deteriorated, and she hurled harsh accusations at various people, even mentioning their names on her blog...

The suicide sparked a flood of reactions, discussions and personal accountings in the blogosphere, starting with people who eulogized Kanner with great sadness and ending with others incapable of forgiving the woman who had hurt so many of them.

The most burning question among many of the writers, however, was, "Could we have prevented such a bitter ending?"

Perhaps it is somehow fitting that this article appeared on my one-year blog anniversary (according to the Gregorian calendar - the anniversary according to the Jewish calendar passed about 10 days ago without my having realized).

The byline of this blog states:

Perspectives on the challenges confronting the Jewish People and State through the eyes of one who finds himself taking an active role in the compelling drama that is the life of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel.

Over the past year, there has been no shortage of challenges that have confronted the Jewish People and State, and I don't foresee many of these challenges being overcome in the near future.

Blogging has provided me with an outlet to express my ideas, visions, hopes and dreams for the future of the Jewish People and State, and I do hope that those who have been reading my blog over the last year feel that the posts have been worthwhile, enlightening, and perhaps, at times, even inspiring.

I am well aware of the fact that not everyone agrees with my "unique" perspective. One of the aspects that I have enjoyed most about blogging has been the opportunity to interact with individuals who don't see things exactly the way I do; to discuss the issues with them; to try and understand where they are coming from, and perhaps go as far as to appreciate their point of view, even if at the end of the day, I still don't agree with it.

Yesterday, the Jewish People celebrated Rosh Chodesh Tammuz. In a little over 2 weeks, the Jewish People will be entering into the most difficult period within the Jewish calendar, namely, the three weeks, during which time the Jewish People commemorate and mourn the destruction of our two Batei Mikdash (along with a myriad of other tragedies), culminating with a day of fasting, mourning and reflection on the 9th of Av (Tisha B'Av).

Jewish tradition teaches us that the 2nd Beit HaMikdash was destroyed due to an atmosphere of baseless hatred that existed amongst the Jewish People. It is my utmost hope that within the daled amot (4 cubits) of this blog, regardless of whatever disagreements may arise, that at the end of the day, we recognize that we all belong to the same family - namely, the Jewish People; that we only have one, true place on this earth which we can call home - namely, the Land (& State) of Israel; and in spite of our differences, that we can only rely on ourselves (and G-d).

Maybe, just maybe, if we in the Jewish Blogsphere can learn to co-exist with those people with whom we disagree, and, dare I say, even come to respect them, then perhaps there might be hope for the "real" Jewish world, and through this we will merit to see the fulfillment of the verse:

Who is like Your nation, Israel, one nation in the Land? (I Samuel 15:19)


Mazel Tov on a year of blogging!

By Blogger Shoshana, at Thu Jun 29, 03:38:00 PM GMT+3  

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