From the Forest Itself…..

I haven’t slept much in the past few weeks since Israel has been under attack and battling house to house in gaza. And when I do sleep it is broken and restless, and I always awake in my bed, staring aimlessly into the dark right before a code red siren sounds on my phone. I want to be there. I feel so helpless and restrained. But I am told by some who are there, that they feel just as helpless.My family notes that I am detached and unfocused on my surroundings. I have lost my keys, debit card, wallet and iPod on numerous occasions because I am absorbed in thought about the war. I sat at a stop sign for a minute waiting for it to turn green. What I can do is write, I suppose. The other night I typed 5000 words in a couple of hours with facts that I have seared into my soul over these years. I barely needed references. I just have them, these facts. They seem a part of me, the whole repository of the last 100 years of Jewish history. Some may say that this is pathological, an obsession really and an unhealthy one at that. They may be right. They would have said the same of Ben Gurion, though I am no Ben Gurion. I stand tottering on his shoulders, and the shoulders of the ones before him.

Israel, as it stands, is a social and architectural achievement not much seen in the history of mankind. And in that perception, too, I am afraid I am alone. This small strip of land inhabited by the western world’s perennial atavistic object of hate is as rare as the moral foundations for their peoplehood codified in their ancient text, the Torah, today still so relevant in discerning moral realities that one begins to entertain ideas, dangerous to the secularist, that it is a divine index of all of humanities’ travails, failures and successes and a guide on how to rectify a shattered world, a world in which artillery is necessary to ensure the existence of good. From the forest itself, it is written, comes the handle for the axe.

I am sleepless for nothing then really. It has been foretold and it is happening and it will be and He will find it good, has found it good, even though to us it proves ugly and patinated like copper or bronze left subjected to the damp of the jungles, when we are searching and thirst for gold and diamonds.

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