30 July 2005

Of Joy and Blindness

Chasidim are sitting together, passing around vodka, saying l’chaim. Today there is no joy. We each are sure that there is joy, but we can’t find it, we can’t find our way to it. Even in this time of year - when we are more in touch with breaking, more in touch with death, more in touch with exile – even in this time of year, Shabbos is usually an exception. On Shabbos, we don’t have permission to mourn. But this Shabbos is different.

On this Shabbos, somehow, it hit me. I had been holding out hope, thinking that it couldn’t really happen. Today it hit me. True, there are still scenarios: this week’s demonstrations may be a success; Vendyl Jones may find the Holy Ark; the men of the army may en masse find themselves unable to uproot their brothers. But somehow today it really hit me. Today it hit me, when the chasidim could barely even sing.

I slept in the afternoon. For two and a half hours I lay sweating on my bed, dreaming of being robbed of my home, dreaming of deceit, dreaming of empty drawers that had been full and the convoluted and nebulous treachery that had emptied them. I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept, like I had been robbed of sleep, robbed of rest.

In the morning, one of the Chassidim had said that the main thing – the main thing – is not to despair, never to despair. In the afternoon we are talking. We know – we know – that everything is for the good. We know that God is holding us in his hand.

Everything is for the good, God is holding us in his hand, and I know that I am blind to his plan.


MC Aryeh said...

This beautiful piece hits home more than any I have read on the disengagement. Your writing here is so eloquent, poetic, and true. I wish you would do more of it...

And I wish I was more connected. I too was laying in bed this shabbos, restless in sleep, sweating. But all I recall dreaming about was me laying in bed, not sweating...

Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Touching. Eloquent. With such an awareness of the painful reality and the challenge we face ahead. If every Jew were to take the time as you have to think, feel, question, and mourn with such purity of heart and soul, then one would want to believe that there was no possibility of this ever really happening.

Thank you.