From Yerushalayim With Love

Location: Israel

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Machpelah; Moshiach

Soon I'll be ready to remark earnestly on the inchoate Moshiach as the leader who will speak for us, the children of Israel, and will explain to the nations why the Land is ours and that, when they recognize our Sovereignty over it, the complexion of the whole globe will change for the good.

The situation in Hebron differs in one way from the rest of the Land: the descendants of Ishmael should be permitted to visit the grave of Abraham. Whether or not Sarah Imanu, who saw clearly, didn't want Ishmael in our home is immaterial to those who wish to honor their father, Abraham. They may believe that Ishmael was Abraham's rightful heir and they may believe in fairies; so long as they wish to show honor to their father, even pray in the merit of his name, they should be allowed to visit his resting place.
As for the rest of the Land: Moshiach will soon mount his mule. Moshiach as leader. A Savior in the sense of saving the physical Children of Israel, not saving souls. And if there is some cataclysm, some Armageddon, the Children of Israel will have been united, and our remnants will enjoy the unity required for the messianic epoch.

For many years my knowledge of the way my country was governed dripped distractingly into my thoughts whenever I'd notice a newsbite while accessing my email or a headline while opening to the comics page. A new citizen of Israel, I pay a little more attention nowadays. However I cannot, without my upper lip quivering in the struggle not to smile, claim to be well-informed enough to form a measured opinion about the way the country is governed. In fact I don't know the basic vocabulary of the politics of the Land.
I no longer know whether Zionist is a good word or a bad word.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sweet and bitter

I rid myself of the delusion that it was preferable to write daily. It was a struggle. I paced and pondered. I fretted. I surmised. I considered my millions of readers and their doubt and uncertainty: What if some local catastrophe disrupted communication - would the readers panic? Better that they should not depend on circadian soliloquies.
With my clarity polished by this fuzzy rag of freedom from deadline, I took time, among other activities, to watch a DVD of the 1969 Sweet Toronto Peace Festival. As John Lennon sang I noted that we could get every single Israeli, and every married Israeli - but not everyone at the same time, because someone would have to be taking care of the babies; and for religious reasons, some women would not sing - we could get all of Israel to sing, "All we are saying is give peace a chance."
Sadly, with bitter pride I knew that no Arab nation would sing it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Physical Force by IDF and Police: The Good

My struggle for optimism revealed a positive aspect of the violence perpetrated by the IDF and various Security and Police Forces, agents of the State of Israel.
The forces' familiarity with the use of physical force, with venting their fury on people will make it easier for them to strike Israel's enemies when it is time for fighting.
Also, it helps the Forces to sleep at night - they do not feel impotent the way they used to, when they were restrained from using force on their Arab foes. Now the Forces can relax, because they showed themselves capable of overwhelming those who oppose the wishes of the State.

Of course, this fillip for the Forces does not justify the State's persecution of Jewry. Nor would Israel be justified in persecuting Moslems, Christians or any other innocent earthling. However, there is a time for fighting, a time for war, and Israel may as well prepare himself.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Quireless Communication

I'd intended to write daily, but I missed midnight by seven minutes.
For years I've been able to safely lose reams of correspondence and rhymes by the quire in one drawer or another. The notion of writing for immediate reading by anyone stuns me. But I'll muddle through.
Thanks to electronic media we can communicate immediately, faster, paradoxically, than if we were in the same place, talking - for we can read faster than we can speak.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I owe letters to many, too many.
Instead of writing to Carl Sesar, recommending his book Selected Poems of Catullus promises to do more good.
Once, for a paper I managed to hand in on time, I compared as many English translations from the Latin of Catullus as I could find. Predictably, I concluded that each translator's style mirrored the poetry of his generation: a Victorian translator worked in rhyming quatrains; one twentieth century version brought cummings to mind.
My favorites were and are Sesar's versions.
Mason and Lipscomb published his book in 1974. Then they went broke.