Tuesday, July 04, 2006

In a world and time where we have to argue endlessly just to show that what is ours is ours, how long will I have to share with my theives?
I have adopted them, they are mine, those checkered caped crusaders
My sons with knives to my throat
The nation still raises it sword and sinks it into its plowshare, into my throat
My soul and blood pour all over the canvas which is the Land
Are we painting a good picture?
To see their eyes is enough, they are still learning war
Gilad ben Aviva, Gilad Shalit
The windows to the soul, and their soul and their blood poured all over the Land
The windows to the shul, and their soul and their blood all over them
Free Israel from its Land
How can the believers not be sad?
How can the believers not be mad?
The unbelievers revel in liberation as we are all liberated from our Land
In the world where I will lift every city and town in my Land above my greatest desires
I will not forget Jerusalem, nor Tel-Aviv, nor Ashkelon
Nor the buses that drive down the holy streets
Nor the holy people whom sell food in shops
Nor the smell of the exhaust of the buses, the sounds of the salesmen, the green uniforms, the shining black metal of the guns in which I used to see myself
Now I have a black kippah on my head, though it not shines, with it I try to reflect Heaven
The bricks of Israel, the stones of Jerusalem
They belong in walls and not in the hands of youngsters
They belong in the Wall, not in my head
I belong alive, not dead
I need to go there before I die
G-d send me there!
The sounds of shouts in Hebrew
I will forget none of the cities for they are all holy lands
For how is it that they are not worthy?
We beg for every small town when we realize their value
We want Akko and Haifa and Eilat before Jerusalem
I need to leave here before I die
The body is below the head
How can I throw trash on those streets?
How can I say dirty words in their vicinities?
How can I give them to Arabs?
Arabs who spit on me in my Land
Arabs who respect nothing and want everything, though nothing is theirs
How long can I be choked away from my land like a fish out of water?
How long can I simmer in their hot spit?
How long can I take this s**t?
I need to leave here before I die
G-d send me there!
Why, why, this painful exile?
I cannot endure this mile!
I cannot hold this smile!
My power amounts to nothing; send me Home!
Yours is the dome
I am becoming like a dry bone
Send me to my room, I don't want to leave it; what a beatiful prison
Where Your light shatters through the Prism
I do not know if it is in my power to retrieve it but I know that
I don't have it in my heart to leave it
I fear the future, I know not my sustenance
But I trust in You for it is Yours
Please, just a share
Mistakes I have made, but how can they be paid?
I am a dry bone here, a dry bone I am becoming
I fear the future, I know not my sustenance
But I know that here I cannot be sustained
Send me on that flying train, my L-rd!
Free me from this pain
You've done it once, now do it again
I beg
I have emptiness here, I need a touch of fulness
I realize my weakness, I realize my love for Your Land
I realize the richness of Your Hand
Blame me for I love what I see and what I touch
I fail from iconoclasm with Your Land
There there are spiritual spasms I have
Even in lowliness let me sit on Your Couch
Live to see not die to be free
It's soft pillows enveloping me
I here can barely stand reality
That boost, I need it, four years too long!
I long
I want genuine joy in my songs, from where will it come?
Please, please Hashem, please and give me some
To please I want and now I want
The melancholy of this longing
I see pictures of Your Land and have fits
I have to put them away
I have to deny joy, for all joy opens up to the joy of your Land
But I am far away
All joy opens up to the joy of your land
Like every river ends up in the ocean
What a predicament, what a Land!
For this land I am in is NOTHING!
Even molecules of memory I cannot withstand
I cannot function with images of that Place in my head
I have to imagine all day of its intense beauty
For one sweet drop of its honey
I have to feel nothing just to get by
I don't want to die
I want to live and there
I shake violently to go there
I grab air in front of me, I try to pull myself up
"Please, please," is all I can say
"Please, please, please, please, please"
I am an empty vessel of cracking clay
What is there to be inside?
I was cleaning up popcorn today in the darkness of a movie theatre, one of my summer jobs, when I had the opportunity to meditate and get lost in thought, or should I say "found?" I realized something interesting; Christianity and Islam are "messianic" religions in that they both were founded as religions by individuals whom deemed themselves the harbingers of Messianic redemption. Both religions were simultaneously founded on the belief that the End Times were right around the corner, if not already in process, and both stand on the notion that they somehow are the literal fulfillments of all previous prophecies and expectations. That they are "messianic" religions in this sense explains the certain kind of "extroverted" energy that both contain, the felt need to evangelize their points of view to help bring about the redemption that (they believe) began with the life of their respective figure. That after 2,006 and 1,284 years respectively that Messianic redemption has not reached full circle yet has necessitated theological explanations as to why it has not occured yet, or that it had already begun and will be completed at a later date, or that the Messiah figure (Jesus in Christianity and the Hidden Imam in Shi'a Islam) is scheduled to return or already has.

Judaism is also a "messianic religion," but it did not spring up as a religion based on a Messianic figure whom announced that the arrival of the Messiah was imminent or had been fulfilled with him. This figure was Abraham, the starter of the Jewish religion (to whom Christians and Muslims also attribute spiritual and literal fatherhood). Perhaps that Judaism was not born out of Messianic fervor unlike Christianity and Islam does alot to explain the different attitude inherent to Judaism regarding prosletyzing. The only prosletyzing in Judaism to convince people of the existence of the One G-d, but not to have them convert to Judaism. Judaism does not believe in the imminent presence of the Messiah, but believes him to be scheduled to arrive any day. Indeed, it would be a lie to say that Messianic fervor does not exist in Judaism, for it surely does and can be felt with many people, but the widely-held belief in Judaism is that the arrival of the Messiah is not open to opinion or interpretation, meaning that when he arrives it will be as clear as day and not a belief held by a group of people. Islam and Christianity are in a state of constant Messianic fervor; Judaism is in a state of constant Messianic longing, which Jews believe will be broken at a certain point in history at which point the truths of G-d, life, and reality are revealed to humanity.

Most importantly is the Jewish view that Messianic redemption is a continuously occuring process, perhaps even after the arrival of the Messiah, which moderates some of the "absolutism" that are part and parcel of Christianity and Islam, the absolute conviction that the Messianic age is here (and has been here). The belief that he is already here makes the "nothing to lose, everything to gain" mentality quite fitting, and imagine being locked into that mentality for 2,000 and 1,284 years respectively. The reality is that there is always much to gain and much to lose; one cannot give away his estates as long as the Messiah has not arrived, and who is to say that one should give away his estates once the Messiah HAS arrived? If Messianic redemption is based on humanity's conviction that G-d is One and rules all, then that revelation is a steadily-occuring and continuous revelation, like an envelope being opened inch-by-inch, not being torn open in one violent act, in which humanity harnesses its best potentialities and learns to moderate its worst, and understands the ever-deep significance that G-d is the King of everything.
"Dogma" is a word that some immature people use instead of the words "truth" and "regularity." Truly there is such thing as dogma, but you have to understand what truth is, and that it exists, before you can understand what dogma is. Until then you can't even be sure that dogma exists.