Friday, October 27, 2006

Some things you must never stop refusing to bear

Quote from a recent piece by Chief Rabbi Sacks;

“DO YOU believe,” the disciple asked the rabbi, “that God created everything for a purpose?”
“I do,” replied the rabbi.
“Well,” asked the disciple, “why did God create atheists?”
The rabbi paused before giving an answer, and when he spoke his voice was soft and intense. “Sometimes we who believe, believe too much. We see the cruelty, the suffering, the injustice in the world and we say: ‘This is the will of God.’ We accept what we should not accept. That is when God sends us atheists to remind us that what passes for religion is not always religion. Sometimes what we accept in the name of God is what we should be fighting against in the name of God.”

Which reminds me of another quote from William Faulkner;

"Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them." (from Intruder in the Dust, p.201 or so)

And if you still need more...Bruce Springsteen? Ok, I like the lyrics, but his version is rather sedating. Rage Against the Machine did a great cover.

The Ghost of Tom Joad
Man walks along the railroad track
He's Goin' some place, there's no turnin' back
The Highway Patrol chopper comin' up over the ridge
Man sleeps by a campfire under the bridge
The shelter line stretchin' around the corner
Welcome to the New World Order...
Families sleepin' in their cars out in the Southwest
No job, no hope, no peace, no rest!

And the highway is alive tonight
Nobody's foolin' nobody as to where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
Searchin' for the Ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls his prayer book out of a sleepin' bag
Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
He's waitin' for the time when the last shall be first
and the first shall be last

In a cardboard box 'neath the underpass

Got a one way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand
Lookin' for a pillow of solid rock
Bathin' in the cities' aqueducts

And The highway is alive tonight
Nobody's foolin' nobody as to where it goes
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Waiting for the Ghost of old Tom Joad

Now Tom Said; "Ma, whenever ya see a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry new born baby cries
Whereever there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Ma, I'll be there
Wherever somebody's strugglin' for a place to stand
For a decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody is yearnin' to be free
Look in their eyes Ma,
You'll see me...

And the highway is alive tonight
Nobody's foolin' nobody as to where it goes

I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light

With the Ghost of Tom Joad.


At 11/12/2007 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also Rav Kook (from Orot Journal essay on "non-existence of God") about the benefits of atheism, TU journal piece on Rav Kook, nietzsche, atheism. Atheism, contrary-wise and kipot zrukot also having benefit in churning up responses, evidence of currents, undercurrents and undertows from our Mesorah that contradict what is taken for Judaism, material challenging those who trumpet loudest for Torah and throw up bulwarks to defend notions that aren't necessarily ikkarim...or even necessarily mainstream jewish belief.


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