Thursday, November 25, 2010

Shomayah Tefillah
Reading through "Katif; Nine Days in Av" over this past Shabbat really just took the heart right out of me, really dragged my trust out into the streets and gave it over to the violent, lustful mob. Tuesday at work I watched this video.
Orange Tears of Gush Katif At The Very End

Hundreds of girls gathered from around the country and from Gush Katif itself - such unity so lauded by Tanakh, Talmud, Chazzal!!!...davening and davening...R. Shlomo Aviner leading prayer, footage after footage of tears after tears, prayers after prayers of these girls pouring their contrite hearts out in profound unison as *one voice*, melding with the prayers and tears of so many others at the voice so lauded as the very voice God is most open to - and of course "SHOMAYAH TEFILLAH!" came to heart first, then mind. These comparably pure, recalcitrant hearts with scarcely a substantive sin to speak of due to lives of Torah, gemillat chasadim and avodah and love enmeshed with the Jewish People constitute at such young ages blessings far beyond anything I will ever achieve, who by all scales mortal should be just the anguished souls God God dains to tip an ear to - were cast out.

Chutzpah! WAS I THERE?!?! Was this MY experience?!? who am I to be challenged by Gush Katif - 5 years after! Anymore than post-Shoah atheists who were not survivors are furiously lambasted by atheist Survivors; I was not there, the post-Shoah atheists were not there, I have no right to say it was a challenge for me, they share in no such right.

But no - I went on to do the devil's arithmetic of adding it to so many other such outpourings in response to other circumstances, of so many of Israel lost and torn by the challenges to faith, to life with God's Torah, begging, pleading to man, to rabbis and scholars and peers with no salve, all the while before the very throne of God, pouring their hearts out, begging for release...and ultimately leaving - or festering in their makomim, rotten from the inside, as happens in too many individual lives and so much so in the Dati Leumi community in Israel after Gush Katif. The next calculation; of Jewish persecutions over the globe, over the millenia, of exiles, of famines and plagues and pogroms, of the even more vast world of persecutions of other peoples, mass murders, rape camps, wars, and human suffering. So many prayers, so much sincere repentance. Dead.

And then I swung back to self-absorption, my suffering. Ooverwhelming anguish and solitude and loneliness moved me to share my name with others to pray for me - refuah, refuah, yeshuah, simcha, a less-stressful parnasa - just ONE shidduch (it does not take "just one"; it takes the RIGHT one...). One rabbi then shared my name with someone bound for Israel who would then add it to a list of names schoolchildren had in mind as they read tehillim.

My God, how beautiful.

A scale then forms in my mind; on one the tefillot of these schoolchildren, these yet unanswered. The other side the other prayers and beseeching, repentance - and ensuing, unspeakable tragedy - unanswered by God, but baruch ata zman, shomayah tefillah - answers prayer with defilement, death, such epic annihilation.*

How tehillim in my name from the cute, saintly little voices of Israeli schoolchildren is supposed to accomplish...anything...I don't know. I don't know. Tikvah l'vad. I'm almost prayed out. Ironically, spellcheck actually accepts the Hebrew transliteration "Shomayah" above!! - but did not accept "tefillah"...I could almost laugh! - until I cry my last tear. Informed hope - is all I can have, so I guess that means I'm going to start trying to be informed again.

Maybe the parsha's a start.


And yet there is no concept of "time" in classical Hebrew thought. We can't say that things "take time", we can't say such a blessing as above about time, that time does things - we haven't even a concept of time. Times, zmanim, a particular time among other times - zman. But not time as such. this takes a bit of the sting out - and yet.. Oh God would it really hurt that much to answer my prayers among so many denied!? Before we're too old to enjoy the fruits of our sincerity, or sacrifices, or spent lives on attempting to do Your Will? Really?! Is it that hard on You, are the "lessons" we're to learn by living and dying alone, so many of us, so tortuously, is learning them of such importance that we don't survive (or at least not as observant Jews), to practice what we were taught?!?

If we then say CLEARLY these nisayonot are of such caliber that we're obviously in the worst of days!!!...

What is to be said of the "challenges" of virtually global Jewish affluence, of global Jewish safety -
in vast absence of obedience to Torah, just the circumstances lack of security and safety supposedly occur in Prophetic literature! - and what of Israel no longer being a land of "refuge", now a land of mere opportunity - its own country among the nations, with its own problems - averaging only 4000 olim from prosperous, assimilated and happy America in any given year?...

what about the drumbeats of Iran and the bomb? Of Islamicism? Of growing, spreading threats the media tells us that seem to end up more localized by the end of the broadcast?..I haven't the foggiest.

The devil's arithmetic leads to the devil's advocate asking; what lessons are supposedly Taught, and what lessons learned when millions of Jews - the vast majority, are so content with failing a test in a language of "nisayonot" no one speaks anymore, if they ever did? What, you think I mean Hebrew? Look again at Israel!! Twenty years past is the last throws of the "Baal Teshuvah Revolution" of "seekers for truth", of generations of Jews who care about truth. Oh God.


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