Monday, August 07, 2006

ISRAEL @ WAR: By the Rivers of Babylon

For the first time in nearly two years, I will be leaving the Land of Israel; visiting family and friends in the U.S.

While ideally, were it up to me, I would never leave (and my family would all be living in Israel), we do not yet live in the ideal world, and as such, I must say goodbye to my Home for 10+ days.

While having to leave Israel is bad enough, leaving now is terrible.

I booked my flight months ago.

Who knew that the Jewish State would be fighting a two-front war this summer - it wasn't scheduled.

While many of my friends and peers are being called up to the army to defend the Jewish People and State, I'm going on vacation.

I have found myself thinking of late about Psalm 137, which expresses the emotions of the Jewish People as they went into Exile after the destruction of the Holy Temple:

1 By the rivers of Babylon--
there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered Zion.

2 On the willows there
we hung up our harps.

3 For there our captors
asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
"Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

4 How could we sing the LORD's song
in a foreign land?

5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand wither!

6 Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy...

I feel as if I am in a catch 22.

If, on the one hand, I spend the very limited time that I will have on this trip brooding over what's happening back home, then I will be guilty of having wasted the chance to spend meaningful time with my family and loved ones.

If, on the other hand, I spend the next 10+ days living it up in the U.S., all the while my Jewish brothers and sisters are fighting and dying to defend the Jewish State and Homeland, then what does that say about me?

The only way out of this dilemma that I can see is for me to dedicate myself over the next 10+ days to instilling a love for the Jewish State and the Land of Israel in hearts of all those whom I come across while visiting the U.S. - a mini-shlichut, if you will.

For the next 10+ days, I will live the words of a poem by Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi:

My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west--

How can I find savour in food? How shall it be sweet to me?
How shall I render my vows and my bonds, while yet

Zion lieth beneath the fetter of Edom, and I in Arab chains?
A light thing would it seem to me to leave all the good things of Spain --

Seeing how precious in mine eyes to behold the dust of the desolate sanctuary.

7 Comments:

That is what life is about.Conflicts-difficult decisions.I personally would be gracious to all -and only discuss Israel 'baasher hu shom.'
You re giving kibud to your family.

By Anonymous daat y, at Tue Aug 08, 03:05:00 AM GMT+3  

You could also do some fund-raising. Ask everyone you come in contact to contribute something for their homeless cousins, with hungry children, still up in those bunkers.

My friend and I are doing this publicly, going around with an envelope.

Make the most of wherever you are and I'm sure everyone will be asking you questions - so there's your opportunity.

May Hashem put the correct words in your heart and mouth to represent Him and His people.

By Anonymous Neshama, at Tue Aug 08, 10:30:00 PM GMT+3  

I'm not Jewish, but I strongly support the right of Israel to exist. I think that working to increase support of Israel in the States can only help your cause. Good luck!

By Blogger Jill, at Mon Aug 14, 06:20:00 AM GMT+3  

"Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it." The words of the rejected Messiah to the scribes and Pharisees who had just pronouced the words of the Prophet Isaiah over themselves and their nation. (Matthew 21:33-44). As a nation you'vbe got to fall on the Stone, "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust."

By Blogger Majide, at Sun Aug 20, 10:31:00 AM GMT+3  

http://freeisraelnow.blogspot.com/2006/10/israels-aid-contribution-to-us-vs-us.html Israel's aid, contribution to US VS US' aid to hostile Arab countries

By Blogger Free Israel, at Wed Oct 04, 09:50:00 PM GMT+2  

Hey, when do we get to read a new post?

By Blogger Jack's Shack, at Mon Oct 16, 09:09:00 PM GMT+2  

Ze'ev,
You are missed.Hope all is well.

By Anonymous daat y, at Sun Oct 22, 12:11:00 AM GMT+2  

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