Saturday, March 29, 2008

Let's be mamash, true, substantial

Thursday Mar 20, 2008

What kind of crazy things will we imagine on this Purim? When logics prefer to turn to nonsense, right to left and left to north and reality to dazzling reality? We maybe living in New Zealand, Alaska, Europe, Jews rocks between Sumer and the Mesopotamian civilization and Egypt. On the one hand, the birthplace of Abraham and in, along the Nile, the fight for surviving and getting freed. And, here, in Eretz Israel, we are in between: shifting from there to here and swinging like on seesaw. Getting in and out and back again.

Strange times: The Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah is retiring. In Israel, as by the time of the Ottomans, the first Church is the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, not the Catholic patriarchate restored in the 19th century. Michel Sabbah was born in Nazareth, he speaks Hebrew quite well. He is a "Palestinian". He will be replaced by a Jordanian archbishop who served in North Africa. Michel Sabbah has been the first Arab local clergyman to be a Latin Patriarch since the 14th century. Then, it is evident that we try to measure if it was good or bad for the Jews or bad and good who somebody else, maybe the Arab Christians and their Muslims brothers? It happens that Michel Sabbah considers that the best moments of his ministry, quietest moments were during the festivities of the Millennium of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in 2000. Upon his retirement, he made some very clear statements about the "occupation" and the general attitude of the Israelis. He also said that the Israelis can be afraid by peace. This is very true. The problem is that Jews should be convinced that when he says that, he does not reject them. But indeed, Jews are afraid to live in a peaceful atmosphere, secure. A normal Jew is at least mentally sitting on some suitcases, ready to wander around the world. When the Jews are aware of such a thing, they get panicked. Israelis are not panicked because they got home and they return to their home. Michel Sabbah sounds right, but he cannot really accept that Jews are fully at home here because of Eretz Israel. The same as for Elie Wiesel. He is the model of the Flying Jew.

Both Michel Sabbah and Elie Wiesel have spent their lives with knives in their backs. Or they thought they could be victimized by nature, innate negative fate. It is terrible how overcome with much difficulties the terrible experience that is imprinted or sealed in our memories.

Let's speak of Yaakov. There are plenty of evidences showing that he was worth taking over his brother's birthright and receiving the paternal blessing. He cheated but was cheated in return, in particular by Laban. Then, Yaakov was given another blessing and identity, Israel, during a very special dark and enlightened fight in the night. The new name he got was far more that any lentil stew deal. His very "essence or being" changed to carry over the task of blessing. It would be possible to speak of a "positive transgression" of the Law that had not been given yet to Moses but paved the way to Law-giving. "Averah" is a "transgression" that can be worth and helpful, as in the case of "Pikuach nefesh" (the requirement to save a life, which has numerous implications). "Avar" also means "to be pregnant/"me'uberet", which shows the passing from the womb to outside world; connected with "ivri" as in Bereishit Rabba 42: "The whole world was on one side (idolaters), thus Abraham passed the banks of the rivers". He trespassed the rules of the idolaters in order to receive God's blessings.

Judaism speaks of mamash, mamashut = reality, substance of our lives and beings. In Yiddish mamoshes appeals to the very substance of what exists. There is no reason to oppress oneself or others if we really know who we are in-depths. The problem is to be and to exist to the full whatever circumstances.

The problem of the very nature of reality and objects, humans is that we got confused. This word, in Yiddish (mamushes) totally covers the realm of what is taught about God's Presence in Judaism and Christianity. But it is a normal copy right for the Jews and became a copy left for the others. Faith never requires any disguising, except to show that the worst tragedies will pass because humans are born to rejoice. But how can we rejoice with you, yes you over there - whoever you are and I don't even understand who you are (normal question of a usual tourist here)? You superseded our birth right, our original copy right and captured also any copy left. No copy belongs to you and not to me or vice versa. Because "mine is yours says the tzaddik" (Pirkey Avot). Jesus declared the same to His and Our Father (John 17:10). In cities with walls, let's this year lift our internal rejections and pardon because "purim calls k'purim", "like lots" cast to rejoice and not to mourn. The megillah will continue to be unscrolled... for the best of life. L'chayim!

Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel

March 20, 2008 - 12 deAdar II 5768

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