Thursday, June 10, 2004

On My Mind

Musings #54
June 7-10, 2004

On My Mind…

Olmert’s Right
Please calm down. I’m not agreeing with his policies, just his statement that “that vote” was “historic.” It definitely was historic.

Just because it’s “historic” doesn’t make it good. I know that old show biz saying: “It doesn’t matter what they write about me, as long as they spell my name right.” But it doesn’t work in history, diplomacy and security.

A Little Linguistics-Euphemisms
I’m not the type for euphemisms; I’m more of a straight talker, as you may have noticed. In politics, especially in this part of the world, some words have added significance. When a Jew’s home and community are destroyed, it’s “good,” for “peace,” so they can “just go home,” (even if he has no other and never had any other.) However if the person to be “moved” is an Arab, it’s an evil sin, called “transfer.” But I’m sure that you know all that.

I’ve been trying to figure out the new word, just recently coined, for withdrawing from land and destroying its communities, homes and residents, hitnatkut from the verb lehitnatek. This is what’s known as a “reflexive” verb, that means it’s done to oneself. The root is nun-tof-kuf, meaning “short-circuit” or “disconnection.” Basically, it means to “disconnect from oneself.” From the same root, a person described as “minutak,” (an adjective derived from the passive verb,) is divorced from reality.

Actually, this is an excellent word to describe Arik Sharon, his supporters and the “left.” In actuality, they are disconnecting themselves from reality. There’s definitely a short circuit in their thought processes. Their “plan,” their entire philosophy is a hitnatkut from our Land, our People and our History.

It’s very sad and tragic; hopefully the “tragic” will remain only a personal tragedy for them. We have hard work to do to prevent a full national tragedy. Tonight I heard a woman from Gush Katif on the TV news, who reminded the interviewer that the withdrawal is scheduled to be a good few months away, and lots of things can happen before then. She’s right. This is only the beginning.

More Linguistics
Another example of a reflexive verb is lehitabed, which can be translated as “to make oneself disappear, or get lost.” It is generally translated as “to commit suicide.” That’s why I don’t agree with the term “suicide bomber.” I think that “human murder weapon” is a much more accurate term.

Separating the Wheat From the Chaff
On the bright side, the false leaders have been showing their true colors, and we are discovering who are the authentic ones. I must admit that I hadn’t accurately judged some of the politicians. A few years ago, I was one of those who thought that Olmert would make a good Prime Minister. Now we know the truth about him. We also know, for sure, no doubts, how weak Bibi is. He didn’t stand up to Sharon. Limor, also, knuckled under; she and Bibi voted “for,” even though they admitted the plan was bad, showing how extremely unprincipled, weak and unreliable they are. Tzachi voted against but didn’t campaign publicly, a disappointment; we’ll have to watch him carefully in the future. The National Religious Party, known as the Mafdal, seems to be disintegrating, and even at its best it has been unable to provide national leadership. About the National Union Party, now that Rav Benny Elon is not longer Minister of Tourism, maybe he’ll show some national leadership with his political partner Avigdor Lieberman. And for some good news, Natan Sharansky, Uzi Landau and Ruby Rivlin haven’t been afraid to campaign against Sharon.

Democracy, the rule of the majority, as if the majority is always right, is a modern religion. Many people are horrified when it’s criticized. The same people may have no compunctions about sinning in terms of the laws G-d gave, but democracy for them is holier than holy, holier than G-d. This weeks parsha, Torah Portion, includes an example of how the majority, democracy, is wrong.

Shlach Lecha, Bamidbar, (In The Desert) Numbers XIII, 15
In preparation to enter Eretz Yisrael, The Land of Israel, Moshe is ordered to G-d to send an elite scouting unit, with one representative from each tribe, to check out The Land. Twelve of Am Yisrael’s finest set out on what could be called The First Pilot Trip. (For those who aren’t familiar, a “pilot trip” is a pre-aliyah visit to facilitate an easy, early-aliyah.) This was not supposed to be a feasibility study. They were supposed to “spin” a positive “pr” spiel to enthuse the people. Somehow, everything went wrong, and ten out of the twelve, the majority, took this as an opportunity to convince the people that Moshe was just leading them the wrong way. Only two scouts out of the twelve, Yehoshua and Calev, had faith, and therefore, trusted that G-d would help the Jewish People to flourish and succeed, in The Land.

My Ripped Flag
Democracy. When Joshua and Calev saw that the majority of the people wanted to appoint a new leader and return to Egypt, they ripped their clothes as a sign of mourning. Over ten years ago, in response to the “Oslo Accords,” I wore a ripped Israeli flag. I wore it everyday, all the time, to work, to my son’s Bar Mitzvah and more. I wonder if I should take it out again.

G-d punished the People by delaying their entry to the Promised Land. The Jewish People wandered forty years, until that generation died out, and the ten scouts were killed by plague. Only then did a new generation, led by Joshua, of the Tribe of Judah, enter The Land. How long will we have to wander? And who are our Joshua and Calev?

Batya Medad, Shiloh

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