Monday, December 29, 2008

The Pain of Galut

These days, the preponderance of my email comes from Israel. When I first turned on my computer after Shabbat, I was in a state of warped confusion. I scratched my head as I read through those first emails wondering, what war are all these people talking about??

During that brief window, while I was trying to piece things together, I realized how out-of-sync I am, sitting here in America. There was a war going on in Israel and, for 12 or more hours, I was utterly clueless.

Well, if that's not a vivid demonstration of the pain of galut, I don't know what is.

Here's another painful moment. A few days ago, Kumah posted a link to a video clip of some Chabad men dancing and singing in the middle of Machane Yehuda on Chanukah. All around them, people are shopping for cabbage and pita, but this group of men brought the ruach of Chanukah into the marketplace.



It's an amateurish video, probably taken with someone's camera phone. As I watched it, I started to cry because I don't live in a place where such a thing could ever happen.

This is also the pain of galut.

Monday, December 22, 2008

God Speaks to Us Through Headlines

This is the cover of today's New York Post. The cover story is about Bernie Madoff and how he destroyed the finances of so many members of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue to the tune of $2 billion. The title of the story is "SYNAGOGUE OF $UFFERERS".

Oh, this is not good. This is so not good for the Jews. I see this cover art and I think that someday, this will be in a museum. The Museum Of American Jewish History, which will open to the general public some years after the Jews had to flee American soil.

On the other hand, maybe this is good. Maybe this is very good. Maybe it's enough to make some American Jews feel a little heat under their collars.

This image is a strong one. It makes me a little ill to look at it. And yet, it fascinates me in the same sick way as some pictures from the Holocaust era do.