Saturday, January 31, 2009

Not Easy

Robert Frost wrote a poem about two roads diverging in a wood. It's a famous poem. I'm sure you all know it:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sometimes we are faced with choices that are much less clear cut than this. There is no road-less-traveled. There is just you, standing in the center of intersecting paths, neither of them straight, all of them enshrouded in fog. There is no way to tell which is the right path to take, or the most interesting, even as an Easterly wind tugs you one way and a Westerly one shoves you another. A breeze from the North might want to lift you off your feet, but one from the South could be whistling your name. So what on earth are you supposed to do? Where are you to go?

Sometimes I don't think life is like that - the picking of one road over another. Sometimes I think there must be a way to walk on several roads at once, or at least on one road that touches the banks of many different lands. There must be a way to make choices on your terms, musn't there?

And what if there are no winds guiding you in any direction at all? Or it's all one big confusion and you're not sure what is the right thing to do? What if there are sacrifices you're not willing to make, but you're not sure if you still ought to make them?

What if you feel just very lost?

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Roundup Of My Life These Past Weeks

1. A new semester means lots of things. New classes, new books, new classmates to interact with, the strengthening of old friendships, and even new displays of humor in the elevator:

2. Starting off the semester sick is not the ideal of beginnings, but I did learn a valuable lesson: Nyquil takes approximately 100% too long to wear off. I took some last night and not only did I still wake up in the middle of the night coughing, I now also feel fuzzy in my head, like my legs are made of jelly, and like I need to just lay down and sleep for a number of years. I mean, I was tired before, but now I feel drugged. However, I did have a much deeper sleep last night so I suppose that, at least, is a plus.

3. It took me a surprisingly short amount of time to get used to having a Mac and not that much longer to turn into a huge fan. It's true what they say, there really are amazing graphics on here. And really cool features like simple finger swiping combinations on the track pad to do all sorts of things you can't even do at all on a PC. Don't get me wrong, there's a part of me deep inside that misses having a PC. But I love my new Mac. I'm increasingly happier I got a Mac instead of a PC, especially as, each day, I discover new awesome things I can do on here.

Anyway, Macs: highly recommended.

4. My parents' 25th anniversary was yesterday! I went home 'specially (though now I am back in school for the senior class shabbos) and my siblings and I got my parents an ice cream cake (the chocolate crunchies are the best part of ice cream cakes, of course). If my parents had not gotten married 25 years ago, I would not be here! So happy anniversary to them!


Have a great Shabbos, everyone!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Request Or Two

Very rarely do I have an actual request for my readers, but now I come to you with two:

1. If one consistently cannot sleep at night due to a cough and cough medicine is not working, what does work? I'm getting somewhat frustrated on having not gotten a real night's sleep for about three or four nights now.

2. Does anyone have any connections or know anything about working in book editing/publishing, specifically children's books (although I'd be happy to hear about other genres, as well)? If you do or know someone who does, would you be able to email me about it? You can get my email from clicking on the link to my profile.

Thanks so much.

P.S. Refuah shelaima to the entire world.

The Flight Of The Bumblebee

I love this. I used to play the flute so I am really in awe of how difficult this is.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Problem With Modern Orthodoxy

[Disclaimer: I don't presume to know everything about Modern Orthodoxy or labels in general. If I get anything wrong, I do apologize. Let me know and I'll try to fix it.]

No, I am not going to post about the Sneetches again, but I am going to argue that the term "Modern Orthodoxy" is one of the more meaningless labels we Jews plaster onto each other.

The concept behind Modern Orthodoxy sounds clear - some sort of synthesis of Torah and the modern world, right? But what does this mean in practicality? Is it YU's Torah U'Mada? Is it Bnei Akiva's Torah v'Avodah? Is it something else entirely?

The truth is, the history of it doesn't matter much when it comes to how it's applied nowadays, because the fact is that people aren't analyzing what it means when they call someone "Modern Orthodox." The issue which arises is that Modern Orthodoxy covers a huge range of religious levels, from those who loiter around the more modern end of the spectrum and those who hang out on the more Orthodox end. And some prefer to take a stroll every now and then, spending some time on the more modern side of things, some time on the more orthodox side. Some sit on a seesaw, rising and falling from one extreme to another. And still some perfer to picnic somewhere in the middle.

The point is that the term Modern Orthodoxy can be and is applied to all of the following people:

A. The girl who goes to a co-ed school, very co-ed camp, wears tank tops and shorts when it's hot enough, sweat pants when it's cooler - skirts to school, probably, hangs out with a lot of guys, not at all shomer negiah, keeps shabbos and kosher.

B. The girl who goes to a single-sex high school but still hangs out with guys, wears pants when she's not in school, short sleeves, not quite shomer negiah, is otherwise in keeping with halacha (for the most part).

C. The girl who has a bit of co-ed in her life but not a ton, wears skirts the cover the knee, sleeves that cover the elbow, shomer negiah, cares about and keeps halacha.

I was going to add D, the girl who has absolutely no co-ed in her life, but to be honest, I have never met anyone, even on the more yeshivish side, who has never had any sort of friendship with a guy (which doesn't mean such people don't exist, I just have yet to come across them). So I'm not sure how much D is actually an ideal as opposed to a reality.

Even while making this list, I felt a certain amount of disgust with myself. For one thing, notice that I am judging these people based on two main principles: mode of dress, level of co-edness. Nothing about the girl's (and you can imagine this list for a guy, as well) connection with God, with the Torah, etc. No ideology involved there at all. Of course, you would think that if one cared enough about halacha, she would try more to keep it. I think that is assumed when such judging occurs, and I think that while this is usually somewhat valid, it should also be done with care and caution. It is good to be open minded about why people do what they do instead of assuming you know.

But benefit of the doubt is not the point of this post (although it's good to remember that it is a principle in Judaism, for all those who are genuinely concerned with following Jewish principles). The point is that if you were to tell someone you have a Modern Orthodox friend, what would that mean? Would that person think your friend is like girl A? or B? or C? Or something in between? Or something else?

Notice how none of the descriptions in my list have anything to do with principles of an ideology. It's all about externals. Because I think that Modern Orthodoxy has lost its ideology. It seems to have become this loose term to describe people who are not Conservative Jews - they're definitely Orthodox, but are not Yeshivish...

Isn't that insane? To presume to lump together everyone in between Conservative and Yeshivish? Don't you realize how wide - how vast - that spectrum is?

And that is why, in my opinion, Modern Orthodoxy, as a term, means nothing. As the idea it once was - does that still exist? But that is not how the term is thrown around. The idea is no longer connected to the name.

So if I were to call myself Modern Orthodox...what would that mean? What would I be saying about myself? I don't think I would be saying very much. All I'd be saying is...I am more modern than Yeshivish.

I was going to propose a new label called "Orthodox Jews Who Keep Halacha," but even that is problematic, because define "keeping halacha." Halacha according to whom? Keeping halacha means different things to different people, just like being modern means different things, being frum means different things, being machmir means different things.

The problem with labels is that they spawn new labels. Once you name a group of people, you've got to also address the subgroups. And the subgroups of that. And the subgroups of that. You see how it's never ending?

I am increasingly frustrated with being labeled "Modern Orthodox." Because it says absolutely nothing about who I am or how I practice Judaism. I am frustrated with my own list of stereotypes. No one should fall into a list of types.

Why can't I just be seen as a Jewish girl who keeps and genuinely cares about halacha and the Torah, without being stamped with a label? I'd like not to be defined by a term. I'd like to be defined by who I actually am.

Can't Sleep

It is difficult indeed
When you find you are in need
Of a single night's good rest--
For, you cry, you try your best!--
But instead of drifting off,
All you're wont to do is cough.

If cough syrup has to taste that awful, the least it could do is work. :(

Edit: Here I am an hour later still unable to fall asleep, still coughing, and a half hour too early to take more medicine. Not that the medicine is proving to be all that helpful.

Ugh. It is so distressing to be awake all because of a stupid cough. It's that feeling where you lie there and want to just be one of those jugglers who swallows fire so you can burn the scratch away from your throat because things like hot chocolate are just not helping. Or you sit there in class and all you can think about is how you need to cough and then you choke on yourself and it's so annoying because, ugh, I just want to SLEEP.

(Sorry, the Apple!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Life's For Sharing

I thought this was amazing.



Here you can watching the making of.

Never Too Late

This story happened a while ago, but it just came up in conversation in my house and I felt it was most certainly post-worthy.

A friend of mine was getting married so about six months before her wedding, her mother took her wedding dress shopping in Boro Park. While they were there, the girl asked the shop keeper if it was too late to order some things. The shop keeper replied, "Honey, some people getting married when you're getting married don't even know each other yet!"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

As Anyone Pleases

Benjamin Franklin begins his autobiography with, "this may be read or not as any one pleases."

I have struggled these months to understand what exactly is the purpose of my blog. It is not one that specializes in a certain area, it does not inform, it does not display controversial opinions...it is merely a diary of sorts. A place for me to ramble on about my thoughts and feelings and observations. But why should such a thing exist? What is the point in it? And why would anyone read it?

In a literature class I had yesterday, we read an introduction to Kenneth Dauber's book, The Idea of Authorship in America. In his introduction, Dauber explains how Benjamin Franklin's sentiment in his opening line is actually quite revolutionary. Previously, people wrote mainly for two reasons: either to illustrate some factual event or idea or to delve deeper and discover some higher insight about the world. And readers read either of these to discover truth, be it the more realist version of truth - gaining knowledge of true facts - or a more romantic version - the higher truth of insightful discoveries.

Franklin, however, was not writing to present any kind of truth. His writing is more casual; it does not claim authority. It does not say, "you must read me in order to be educated" nor does it say "you must read me because I hold some secret truth." Rather, it says, "this may be read or not read as any one pleases." Franklin puts himself not in an authoritative position over the reader but on an equal plane, almost of comradeship. If the reader chooses to read, then he has chosen to listen to what Franklin has to say the way one friend listens to another. There is that element of choice, and then, in making your decision, you decide either to have a relationship with Franklin's words or not. As Dauber says, "Americans were writing free of the need for legitimation." They didn't need to assert the importance of their texts over their readers. They weren't writing those kinds of books.

Well, neither is this blog an authoritative sort of blog. It does not inform. It does not hold some higher truth. It merely is what it is. There is a certain faith, as Dauber expresses, that comes in a work such as this blog. I choose to write it - and so I have faith that there will be readers to read - and you choose to read - so you have faith that I continue writing. And with that faith and that relationship - the one of the writer and the reader - a blog like mine can continue to exist. Without it, it would fade out.

I write not to tell you anything, but to share with you, if you are willing to listen. I can't promise you will find anything either educative or insightful here and I don't presume to assert that kind of authority. That said, if you do gain from reading what I have to say, then I am very glad of it.

Thanks for reading so far, because without you, this blog would be obsolete.

So thank you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Greater Story

I've seen a bunch of people linking to this story, written by a person named Leon de Winter. While I can understand the initial attraction to such a story, it actually makes me pretty uncomfortable. It took me some time to figure out why.

What stuck out most glaringly was the incredibly insular way de Winter deals with the issue in the Middle East. What is going on now in Gaza is taken completely out of context of the greater history of Israel, which is part of the problem with the way many people unconnected with the situation also view it, as highlighted in many of the comments.

"Our neighbor lives in the house in which our grandfather used to live. He claims he bought the first part of the house from a Turki, and later the second part from a British bank, but that doesn’t make the sale any less illegal: my family lived in that house for hundreds of years and we don’t accept the documents of sale."

That is how de Winter begins his story, yet he fails to mention that Jews have been living in Israel for hundreds of years, too. What happened to the early pioneers? Why no mention of them? By the way, Jews have always, for thousands of years, lived in Jerusalem.

The issue in the Middle East between Israel and the Arabs is much too involved and complex to be isolated into individual stories. They're not individual stories at all. They are one long plot point: the Arabs* cannot stand that we Jews exist and are thriving in Israel.

Many of the comments are horribly disturbing and show incredible ignorance in the general society out there. They are seriously not worth repeating, but if you'd like to take a look, brace yourselves. People think they are such authorities on what is going on in Gaza right now and on the whole Palestinian issue, when really they have absolutely no clue. It makes me wonder how often people take sides on any issue they are not personally connected with and how quick they can be to judge without knowing all the facts.

The one rebuttal I feel is worth repeating here is this:

"Could you please tell me why the Palestinians never demanded a country from Jordan or Egypt when they controlled the west bank and Gaza until 1967 ?
How come they only demand land from Israel ?
Is it because there was no such thing as Palestinian people prior to that time ?"


Bingo.

Do I believe in killing innocent Palestinian civilians? Of course not. Do I believe in Israel doing everything in its power to eradicate Palestinian terrorists? Yes. Do I think all Palestinians are terrorists? Of course not. Do I think that this cease fire is just a time for the terrorists to re-arm? Yes.

We gave them Gaza and the Palestinians sent us rockets as a thank you present. How sweet. It would be naive of a person to think that Israel holding its fire will stop all the violence, especially since the violence does not begin with Israel.

I don't think a person could do justice to what is going on in the Middle East in one short story. It would take an entire novel, I'd think. Either way, there was something uncomfortable about that story. I also take issue with this:

"Every now and then our neighbor gets fed up with our stone-throwing — those are the best moments. Then he storms out of our grandfather’s house and smashes our kitchen or bathroom or refrigerator to pieces."

That's an inaccurate representation of Israeli attacks on Gaza. Israel does not attack to "get back at" Palestinians, the way the story makes it sound. It does not smash their "kitchen or bathroom or refrigerator to pieces." Israel attacks terrorists. It's not interested in revenge. It is interested in self-defense. A truer representation would have the neighbor trying to put a stop to either the stone-throwing or the stone-thrower, not random attacks on pieces of furniture. Yes, many Palestinian civilians unfortunately have gotten killed and homes have been destroyed, but that has not been the purpose of Israel's attacks. Israel does not aim for innocent civilian life the way terorrists do. Israel does the best it can to avoid such things, sending out warnings, etc. But at the end of the day, Israel also has a responsibility to protect itself and its citizens, and if terrorists are using human shields, Israel has no choice but to act despite that. Ezzie explains this idea further, so I'm not going to do it here.

I think that one of the most important things to do is to be educated about Israel, its history, and what's really going on right now, and to make sure others are educated, as well. At the very least, checking what's being written at Jameel's blog or HonestReporting can help dust off the cobwebs of bias, false reporting, and inaccurate representations of Israel and the war.

May there be peace, soon.

*Yes, I know I'm not being properly politically correct and I'm generalizing. Obviously I don't think every single individual Arab hates Jews, but enough Arabs in the Middle East have given us trouble that I think it's safe to say there's an issue there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Operation Normal: Be Yourself

What I don't understand is why there are so few normal people out there. By normal, I don't mean typical. Don't confuse the two. I think the best way to describe it would be "grounded." It's not that someone has to be the most down-to-earth person out there, but just aware of things, of how to interact with other people, how to view the world in an open-minded, respectful, and sane manner. How to think for themselves, how to use what they know about the world, about the nature of people, and form their own conclusions. But forming your own conclusion doesn't mean being radical. You can be an individual and not be radical about it.

I think when people try too hard to be individualistic, it becomes as contrived and fake as those who merely follow the crowd without considering their own opinions. You're not yourself when you're trying too hard. You're just putting on a show.

On the opposite extreme, it's not "safer" to blindly follow the crowd. No one will hate you for having your own opinions, provided they are sane. It shows ignorance and a lack of will power to avoid thinking for yourself in favor of having someone else do all the thinking and deciding for you. If you don't like a fashion trend, don't follow it. If you don't like what everyone these days is reading, don't read it. If you don't feel you need to iron your hair and wear ballet flats in order to be frum, don't do it.

Obviously there are boundaries. That's why this, like everything, is a balance. You can't ignore Halacha if you feel you don't want to do it. If you're a Jew, you have to follow the Torah. That's a given.

There has to be somewhere in between the extreme of throwing away every social convention and blindly following what They dictate to you. This middle ground is called Thinking For Yourself While Still Remaining Rational And Aware Of The World. I like to call this "being normal." You might rather call it, "being yourself." And I mean really yourself. Not an overblown, overdramatic version of yourself to make a point. I mean just being chill about it. Not to make a point, just to be you. And to be open-minded to other people being themselves. Not everyone has to be a clone, nor does everyone have to be radically individualistic. As someone once said, "keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out." It's important to be aware enough that you don't just accept, accept, accept - in either extreme.

The more yourself you are without any airs or any show, the more "normal" you will be.

"The Shidduch Crisis"

Lots of people are posting about the infamous shidduch crisis. Is "shidduch crisis" even the right thing to call it? Perhaps some of it is self-imposed? Have we given ourselves a complex?

So many theories, so much advice...

Take what you will from this comic:


On a similar note, where are all the NORMAL guys, huh?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Had It

...Had it with distorted truth.
...Had it with lies.
...Had it with pictures that tell a thousand misleading words.
...Had it with truces that aren't real truces.
...Had it with cease fires where the fires never cease.
...Had it with walking on eggshells because the eggshells just prick our feet.
...Had it with betrayal.
...Had it negotiating with enemies any daft pea-brain should know can't be negotiated with.
...Had it with the pressure.
...Had it with giving in to the pressure.
...Had it with being painted as the big bad guy when, for goodness sake, if you look at the whole picture, we're as little as they come.
So here I tell the world - or at least that little pebble in the great wide canyon that is listening - that I--
Have had it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

That Is So Cliche

When you're a writer, you're taught to avoid cliches like the plague.* The thing is, they do exist for a reason, don't they? I mean, something is cliche because it resonates well with people and therefore sticks, correct?

But, of course, I understand that when writing, you want to try and use fresh, creative language, which means not resorting to the way someone else said something but finding your own, unique way to express that same idea.

But then, if we can't use cliches in writing, when can we use them?

On a small digression, isn't creative writing itself a cliche? So many people either think they can write or wish they could write, especially people who want to show they think about the world around them. I would hope everyone thinks about the world just a little, but perhaps writing is just as cliche as guys wanting to be sports players when they grow up, yeah?

I'm not sure. But I do think that there is a way to take a cliche and make it not cliche by making it yours. That's probably how creative writing becomes not cliche, and how anything becomes not cliche. The challenge,I suppose, is figuring out how to make something yours. At least, I think that's right.

*Yes, I'm aware that was a cliche. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Question

(Hat tip: Ezzie)

Well...what do YOU want to do with the rest of YOUR life?

Personally, the lighthouse idea sounds kinda cool... :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Apple Story

No...this is not a story about The Apple, though that would have been fun.

This is a story about change. It's about taking a baby step towards the idea of acclimating to something new. Next year is going to bring a LOT of change. Might as well get used to small bits of it at a time.

As some of you may know, for a while now, my Dell laptop has been dying. It started off with a single green line down the length of the screen.

That line grew.

It grew and grew and grew until it became many lines, and not all of them green. It was very festive, really - just in time for everyone's holidays!

Then it started doing interesting things like going to sleep while I was in the middle of typing something. That wasn't very fun.

I knew I had to get a new laptop soon and I was sworn against getting a Mac. I was strictly a PC user - blah blah blah. Same old story, right?

Thing was - I realized that it just made the most logical sense to move away from the PC. For one thing, PCs are using Vista which has all sorts of problems. They're discontinuing it in a few months, but I don't have a few months to wait and I wasn't about to get a computer that wasn't going to work right. Second of all, when they discontinue Vista, they're going to start using Windows 7 which apparently is very similar to the way Macs look. So either way, I'd have to get used to the whole Mac set-up. So why not just get a Mac, then?

Why not, indeed.

And so I type this from...my very own Mac. It's a bit strange to get used to, but it's rather nice, really. I'm not afraid to experiment on computers so it didn't take me long to figure out the ropes around here. At least, enough of them to do basic things like write blog posts.

What was really cool was that after I set it all up, it somehow knew about my old Dell. Under "shared" on some window, it had the name Calcipher - which was what I had named my old computer (after some character in a book that I liked four years ago) - and then "inspirondell" - which is, of course, my old Inspiron.

How did it know?

Inspired, I decided to give this new computer a fun name too (don't worry, it actually asks you to name it, I didn't do it for no reason at all), and so I named it Hobbes - like in Calvin and Hobbes. I find I often say/think things that are very Calvin-ish, and occasionally I have conversations with people that end up being somewhat Calvin and Hobbes-esque, so I figured it was appropriate. Besides, if I had a computer that actually had personality, I'd probably want it to be somewhat like Hobbes.

Behold - my desktop!


My old desktop was similar - it was bright green with a Calvin and Hobbes strip in the middle.

...Was? I mean - is. After all, I do still have my old Dell. It's just...an old, worn out Dell that probably won't last too much longer.

Can you believe I'm writing this on a Mac?

The thing about Macs is that they're rather Lefty. I don't mind this. After all, I do random things Lefty, anyway, even though I'm technically a Rightie (weird, huh?). But the USB drives are on the left side. The headphones go in on the left. The CD drive is on the right. You even close screens on the left. Everything is the other way, sort of like a mirror image.

It really is rather odd to have a new computer. The screen is smaller. And glossier. The keys are more spread out. Or they seem like it, anyway.

It's like that squinched in your stomach kind of feel. Like you're somewhere new and sorta homesick. But so far, I really like this computer. And I like it even more now that I've named it Hobbes.

The Search

Straight Man: I need to figure out where I want to spend my semester abroad.
Erachet: Um, you just had your semester abroad. It's called a year and a half in Israel.
Straight Man: Well, I want to take another one! I need to...find myself.
Ima: [Snort] What were you doing in Israel?
Straight Man: That was my spiritual self! I need to find my mental self.
Erachet: Maybe your mental self is in Queens [college]?
Straight Man: I dunno, I was just there the other day...I couldn't even find parking.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Listen

Dear Diary,

Today rockets landed in Northern Israel. Everything seems to be so out of control. I'm afraid something much worse is going to happen before things get better. Hamas keeps sending rockets from Gaza and Israel keeps getting blamed for all the deaths. I just don't get it. Why can't smart people use their common sense and see that Israel is the one being bullied here?

I feel so helpless. There's nothing left for me to write - it's all been written already. Besides, who would hear me? I can pray, but I can't see the results of my prayer. I pray every day and every day there is still war. I feel guilty for sitting here in America complaining about my misfortunes. Woe is me who feels helpless. I'm safe, aren't I? Shouldn't that be good enough? Those rockets can't reach me here.

So strongly do I feel my insignificance. I am a mere pinprick in the vast enormity of the world, and no amount of "but every person matters"will convince me otherwise. I know how much effect I have on things. Zero.

What do my fears, my cries, my desperate yearnings for Israel's peaceful sovereignty matter in the great wide world? Who is listening? Who cares? I'm just an anonymous American girl who would probably get eaten alive by any well-educated Palestinian supporter who really knew how to argue. I don't want to argue. As much as I want to punch Hamas in the face, as much as it angers me to see people being so blind to what's really going on, I don't want to get caught up in arguments that serve no purpose but to rile up the other side. Any true Palestinian supporter is not going to change his mind just because I can spit back the pro-Israel script.

Sometimes it feels like no matter how much I follow the news, no matter how much I learn, no matter how much I think I know, there's always some very important fact I don't know. That always gets me in the end.

I wish I was more powerful.

Sometimes it's like the entire world has lost its mind. I know I shouldn't throw around labels, but so much has gotten so liberal, so overly tolerant, that the lines of tolerance have gotten completely blurred. Tolerance and acceptance are not the same. I can tolerate something going on, within reason of course, without giving it my okay. I am allowed to disagree with something I feel is immoral. That's not discrimination. Just because someone is not living the ideal life, just because someone seems to be an underdog, doesn't mean that person is doing the right thing. Where do we draw the tolerance line? I feel like I live in a world that is constantly apologizing for itself. Isn't that what makes it possible for terrorists to use civilian shields? Because whoever attacks those poor civilians is automatically evil? Isn't that what makes it possible for a country to give another, smaller group of people a piece of land, those people using that land to attack the first country, the first country attacking this smaller group of people in defense, and the first country ending up the horrible enemy? The terms "good" and "evil" are not as black and white as that. Why is that so difficult to see? Someone being harmed does not mean the action which caused that harm was evil. And someone being saved does not mean it was a good thing that person was saved. Good and evil are not the same as comfort and discomfort. We don't live in this world to be comfortable. We live to be moral.

This diary entry is only that. A diary entry. No one needs to read it because I'm not saying anything new. I'm saying what's already been said. Just look around. There is no need for me to speak, and so I remain silent, except in my own private thoughts, in my own writings, in my own diary.

I hope the world, one day, will learn not to be blind and will finally be able to...see.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Modern Day Miracles

This is a newish (though slightly belated) video by Nefesh b'Nefesh that I thought was cute, and, in light of all the intense news coming out of Israel lately, also somewhat refreshing.