Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Teabag Theory

I have just completed translating an academic article for a friend. It dealt, among other things, with the "teabag theory." This theory is related to hostages' ability to readjust to society following release from captivity. One of the researchers remarked, "One never knows the character of a human being until he finds himself in hot water!"

Well, we in Israel have been circulating in a bubbling cauldron of acidic liquid for several weeks already. And, praise G-d, our "teabags" seem to be filled with grade A ingredients! Let's take stock of our national teabag!!!

Courage: Our boys (brothers, sons and fathers) are filled with extraordinary motivation to take part in the war, despite the dangers involved. Witness those wounded interviewed in hospital, all rearing to return to their brigades despite protests by Moms, wives and girlfriends! The media has spoken of soldiers not called up to active duty who have arrived at the front in uniform begging to do their part.

Loving kindness (chesed): Irregardless of the downturn in economic standards, the public has opened hearts and wallets since Operation Cast Iron began. People of every walk of life: irreligious, religious, traditional or simply.... Israeli, have been volunteering in every which way. Some folks have opened their homes to total strangers for a week or more. Others have donated everything from socks, undies, soap and snacks to send our soldiers. Meanwhile, toys plus other items have found their way to bomb shelters in areas throughout the south. It is totally awesome, this tremendous outpouring of chesed-- one giving another with no wish for recompense!

Determination:Despite the initial shock of the sirens or "color red" alerts, on the whole the population is holding up remarkably well in the current stressful environment. Support for the war has not waned in the least as many thousands of Israelis have tasted the spoiled appetizers that have been lobbed at Sederot's citizens for years.

Faith: Witnessing the wondrous miracles G-d has wrought for His people, one cannot but call a spade a spade: LUCK (MAZAL) has nothing to do with things. G-d in His great goodness has deflected grad, katyushot, and kassam rockets time and time again resulting in an unmistakably low number of physical casualties in relation to the great number of missiles fired. A relative of mine, jean-clad, non-observant is nonetheless a woman of great faith. Her building in Beer Sheva has been shaken twice by grad missiles, and once again this evening a targeted vehicle was smashed down the street from her apartment. Her seven year old son answers my query as to his fright or lack thereof: "Grandpa and Grandma have asked G-d in heaven to watch out for us!" As Moshe Rabbenu said, "Ahshrecha Yisrael! Mi Ka'mocha" "Who is pleased as you, Israel? Who is like you?" None indeed!!!

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