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Friday, May 16, 2014

"Maybe He'll be Prime Minister," No Longer a Blessing

The other day while riding Jerusalem Lightrail, there was a bored, angry toddler in his stroller next to me. His mother kept trying to prevent him from kicking me, but at one point she wasn't paying attention and he kicked my bag. I didn't have patience for that sort of behavior knowing how quickly it could escalate, so I asked her to have him face a different direction. She was understanding and moved him.

That would have had been the end of the story, and certainly not anything worth blogging about if an older woman (actually older than me) who was sitting across from us hadn't interfered.
"He's so cute. So what's the beg deal if he kicks you. It won't actually do you any harm."
"When you allow toddlers like this to kick and hit big people, they'll just learn to kick and hit younger ones, too." I replied.
"Oh, no, I used to teach little sweeties like him, and there's nothing wrong with what he did.  He may even grow up to be Prime Minister."
"Like Olmert?" I just couldn't resist saying. "Nowadays saying he'll be Prime Minister is no compliment."
She looked at me blankly, while the man sitting next to her almost lost his battle to keep in the laughter.

Actually, it's very sad that we can't count on anyone in any position to be perfectly honest, free from crime and cheating.  It seems like the "high places/positions" are full of people who aren't living according to law. The expression "above the law" seems to be their creed.

Sadly various forms of "cheating" exist in all levels of society as Ruthie Blum wrote in today's article in Israel Hayom.
But the effect this is having on average Joes indicates that it is going to take a lot more than a judge's outrage to eliminate illegal wheeling and dealing, which extends way beyond -- or rather far beneath -- high society.This week alone, I have witnessed three instances of cognitive dissonance in relation to Olmert that could keep the country's psychiatrists in clover for decades.On Tuesday, a taxi driver suggested not turning on the meter so he could fix the price. I refused. He was annoyed. But our conversation quickly turned to Olmert."Good for the judge," he said. "Enough with all these crooked politicians." (read the complete article)
For idealists like ourselves it hurts. I'll never forget how when many years ago for a school-recommended IQ Test for my older daughters, during the "parent background interview" the educational psychologist asked me if they each had a strong "sense of justice." I answered in the affirmative which wouldn't surprise anyone who knows them today.  That's how I was raised and how I raised my children, all of them.

I'm glad that there are some strong moral judges on the bench like Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rozen who sentences Olmert, and I pray that the sentence will stand, that Olmert's lawyers won't succeed in their appeals.

If we are to improve Israeli society and values it must start from the top. I'm encouraged also by the recent nonacceptance of adultery of Israeli leaders. So far, most of the men targeted by the media's equivalent of the "first wives club" have been from the Right, but G-d willing, things will equalize as the issue gets more popular.

This week's Torah Portion is Bechukotai, In My Laws...
From Rabbi Yehuda Appel on Aish.com:
This week's Torah portion, Bechukotai, deals with the tremendous responsibilities given to the Jewish people. Just as each individual has a task to improve the world, so too the Jewish people have that role.
In the parsha, God addresses the Jewish people collectively, informing them of the severity of judgements - ranging from illness to exile - that they will face if they do not follow His path. The harshness of these afflictions can be seen as a direct correlation to the importance of the Jewish people's mission. As the nation who has been entrusted with God's instructions for creating a perfect society, the Jewish people are held to a higher standard.
On the other hand, at the beginning of the parsha, God promises the Jewish people that "if you walk in My laws and guard My commandments," you will be blessed with great peace and wealth. As much potential as there is for tragedy, great blessing can also be theirs.
Davka... yes, this week...

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
May You have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

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