Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Day of days
This week (sunset friday till sundown saturday) we (i mean us Jewish people) celebrate יום הכיפורים (Yom Kippur). It’s the day of atonement, of repentance, of reconciliation, of forgiving and seeking forgiveness, of cleansing, and of other beautiful things.
It’s the one Jewish holiday which practically all Jews, wherever they make their home on this planet, observe, even when they’re not really considering themselves religious.
Religion is certainly not for me. From what i read about it, and saw for myself, it does more bad than good. Still Yom Kippur has meaning for me. It reminds me of where my roots r, of the rough and sweet times i spent with one of my greatest loves in that small strip of the land of my ancestors surrounded by enemies, of the atrocities done to my people from ancient times on up till now, of the incredible resiliency of most of my people, keeping their humanity under the worst possible conditions, their lust for life, their creativity, their inventiveness, and their unequalled ability to really see the three sides of a coin. They endured the most horrible things, and still were able to turn a desert into a lush garden.
Unlike others tho, i will not forgive nor seek forgiveness for my wrongdoings. I will not allow any cleansing, nor do i need one. Atonement, repentance, and reconciliation may be of value and a purpose to others, but not to me. Not cos i couldn’t subscribe to their beauty per se, but, apart from my personal experiences, cos of what happened at places like Babi Yar, where, on the eve of Yom Kippur, more than 33000 Jews were slaughtered by the Germans and their filthy collaborators, or the Yom Kippur War of 1973 when, on the most holy day of the Jews, some Arab nations deemed it appropriate to attack Israel.
Someone once urged me, instead of seeking revenge, instead of embracing "an eye for an eye" philosophy and course of action, to put the past and my hate behind me, and try to be the bigger person. But i don’t want to be that person. I even would hate to be one. I don’t want to forget the past. I don’t want to sooth the pain. I don’t want to play down any horrific event just cos it happened a long time ago. I don’t want to belong to those who tell me that time heals all. I want the past in general, and my past in particular, to stay with me, to be one with me, to keep me on the alert, to not fall asleep and run over, when the human cockroaches of this world r marching again. And i don’t want to be absolved from my wrongdoings either. Some time ago i dedicated a blog to this "being the bigger person". If interested, go here.
I know my views, attitude and actions on this, will be inacceptable for some if not most, and will make me an outcast. Nothing new here. I'm used to that. So be it. Still i will try to keep following in the footsteps of the Masada people, and the Ones that make us remember Mila 18, of which one of their greatest son’s actions on the Golan in 1973 still makes me feel proud and confident, that the will to resist evil, to not allow defeat, and the perseverance of individuals, minorities, and oppressed people, can make a difference, can create a future, can even dictate the future, and can be the foundation on which a better world can be build. Alas we aren’t operating on a larger scale like that yet. Not yet, not yet.
I wanted to end this blog with a song titled Yoryim ouBo’hyim, a song belonging to the kind that pierces to the very marrow, which really has invaded my soul, and will stay there forever. Alas, embedding was disabled. So if u want to listen to it, click here. And in case u can’t understand the language, simply click “show more”, and u’ll find an English translation.