Saturday, June 5, 2010
Commenting on Commenting
I've been pondering the past few days several heated issues -- Israeli/Jewish related. I was considering whether or not I might want to make some kind of comment on these for my next contribution to building conversation on this blog. Two items kept surfacing related to an article I read online at Tablet Magazine, "Never, Never Land: I Can't Talk To My Children About Israel" by Marjorie Ingall -- and -- Israel's attack on the flotilla.
The essence of these were so closely entwined they could almost be one as far as the conversation in my head goes. Ingall's article and how it somehow aligned in my head with the Gaza Coast tragedy prompted me to make my first ever online blog post other than my own. I wondered if blog fever wasn't now infecting me that I should commit such an act.
Finally, forward thrust got to me. I took the plunge, posting a comment in response to Ingall's essay. Was I ready, next, I asked myself to dare to post on the "Anastasia Storyteller" blog what I had commented on for Tablet. This was getting really intense. The heat inside of me was to the boiling point.
Meditator that I am, however, before I took that actual leap, I slowed down and contemplated again, asking myself why my speaking up was such a big deal for me anyway. I'm not sure about the many facets that will satisfy that inner exploration of mine just yet. However, I thought I might first "comment on my commenting" (which is what I am doing here).
That resulted in my coming up with more than a dozen "stories" I might be inclined to share, one-by-one, sooner rather than later on this blog. First -- I would offer the questions I asked myself. Then the "stories" I thought I might tell to answer my own query. Finally, my comment on Ingall's essay. All of this is offered below, hoping to invite your comments. (Please try to be a bit nice. I am really new at this.)
Questions I asked myself --
Why was I afraid to say what I really think, believe, perceive – the truth of my heart as it pertains to the piece, “Never, Never Land: I Can’t Talk to My Kids About Israel”?
Why was I afraid to make a posted comment, at all, when doing so is more or less the “in” thing to do these days?
Why was I afraid to take off one of more than 1,000 masks I wear; the ones that have to do with my Jewish heritage? Why has this one been so closely guarded?
There are at least a dozen or more stories I can share here that answer those questions.
Coming soon, one by one, If I dare. Here is a sampling of topics and titles from my taking off my masks at least one, leaving at least 999 more to go.
There is the one about --
1. Selling trees for Israel
2. Bridey Murphy – and -- me
3. The Christmas Tree
4. Assimilating, the 60s into the 21st Century
5. Being blind, meeting Murat (see posting -- "Storyteller, par exellence") – tough love is not right for me, diplomatic strategy is
6. Making amends to my Jewish heritage
7. President of the Jewish women’s group
8. Our local Jewish/.Muslim Controversy
9. Rabbi Kosman, “I love you”
10. Meeting with the imam
11. Hadj and Chanukah
12. Meeting again with the imam
13. Holocaust Memorial celebration
14. The ban on my speaking out -- "zip it, Anastasia."
15. Centennial Memorial United Methodist Church
16. Two Pastors, two ministries, one church -- and an experience of awe
17. My mazuzeh and Michael, the drive-by rebbe
18. I’m home and I light Shabbos candles, after a bazillion decades not
19. How not speaking and not seeing are twins in me
My posted comment for Ingall's article below. (She now has a follow-up, courageous woman that she is -- "Return To Never, Never Land." Check it out on Tablet.)
May 31, 2010 on Tablet Magazine online
I didn’t want to comment on this article. Frankly, I was afraid — chicken — to acknowledge how much it reflected views similar to my own though my children are full-grown. I watched from the sidelines. I read the comments. Then I kept choosing not to make my own. I didn’t want to get the flack that Marjorie was getting. I had made my own waves — on a much smaller scale — in the midst of Jewish controversy, among Jews and non-Jews.
I had seen — and — experienced, personally, how challenging and painfully Jews can so disrespectfully treat one another for simply giving voice to views with which they disagree. I have contributed a great deal (on a local level) to Jewish dialogue within the “tribe” as well as with non-Jews. It didn’t succeed. And I got judged and ostracized for the effort. Though that’s not the only way that Jews treat one another.
It is, unfortunately, very much a part of generic traditional Jewish culture to have rational debate that ignores the heart in the service of righteousness. I applaud Marjorie’s ability to articulate her heartfelt views and perspectives. And, her courage in being able to put herself so much on the front line and take the heat from it. I thank her for it.
Today I can no longer be silent. Israel’s attack on the boat delivering aid to Palestinians is just too much! In my worldview there is no excuse for taking the first steps toward another round of violence. (No matter who does it.)
rising again and again.