Synchronicity or bust
When nothing seems to help, I would go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it would split in two, and I knew it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before together. — Jacob A. Riis
One of the blogs I read is called Zen Pencils. His tag line is “cartoon quotes from inspirational folks.” You should go see his blog because it is great (zenpencils.com). This week the inspirational quote was this one and it really helped me get through the week. Personally, I’m still dealing with the bureaucratic issues I’ve been complaining about for weeks. Expect an op-ed about this in the future. But I think this quote is also about Israel.
After the terrible events last week, Israel has witnessed a lot of debate, finger-pointing, self-flagellation, and every point of view has been publicized about every angle of the issues. I don’t want to summarize all that here. Instead, I want to bring out the positive things that I saw this week that give me hope that we can get through these difficult times together. Each one is a hammer tap. Each one has the potential to be the 101st blow.
Bubbles are better than blood
Some brilliant person took the initiative in the middle of the night to paint bubbles over the blood stains left in the street where the stabbing took place. I saw the post on Facebook saying that they wanted to celebrate life with symbols of hope. Here’s my picture taken this morning (a few days after painting).
Last night I went to the annual event of a Zionist organization I do work for. One of the honorees was a Bedouin youth organization called Aharai (lit. “after me” or “follow me”) that prepares these kids for enlistment in the IDF. There were about 40 kids who came to represent their organization. When their organizer spoke after receiving the award, he told a story of a Holocaust survivor who came to speak to their group. The kids gave her a bouquet of flowers and promised her that they would not let another Holocaust happen to the Jewish people. Everyone gave them a standing ovation.
To me, this is what Zionism is all about. Israel is a state that is built as the homeland for the Jewish people, but Israel must also embrace and protect all of its citizens, even and especially when they aren’t Jewish. It’s not easy for the Bedouins to join the IDF. Let’s face it. There is prejudice in the army. But they also have to face the rest of the Muslim community who feel it is a betrayal for them to serve in the IDF. But they do it anyway because they want to defend their country, this country, the homeland of the Jewish people, the Jewish and democratic state.