Monday, May 19, 2008

Iyyar, 5, 5768 - May 8TH, 2008

Iyyar, 5, 5768 - May 8TH, 2008


There are States or countries that are basically small or broken down in "areas, land, regions, laender, cantons, provinces". Will Galilee soon be culturally connected with the Negev? David Ben Gurion had the dream of Israel having her capital in Mamshit (Greek "Mampsit - Memphis"), the ancient Nabataean city with the famous synagogue of Ma'on and the Byzantine church. From there, rabbis were sent to Yavne. The Byzantine monks participated in the Church synods, later in the first councils. Look at a map of the cities. They are all interconnected by strong networks that trace back to the presence of all sorts of invaders, passers-by or settlers from Greece, Persia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Turkey, Arabia, Ethiopia, Syria, Lebanon, Caucasus. How interesting that the same road circuits have been developed and sophisticated and could of course be used to gather fractured regions and towns into one unique entity of diverse cultures. The railway infrastructures were created by the British to envision a general development of the Middle-East from Caucasus and Turkey down to Akaba. The power of intelligence, cleverness, capacities, "price of excellence" can ruin nations, people and States.

Hebrew and Aramaic "necheh" means "paralyzed, crippled". A decade ago, for the 50 years anniversary, Israel was still getting forward, dynamic, strong. The second Intifada came after the Millenium. D. Ben Gurion was undoubtedly convinced that his combat was right. He felt the kind of anguish discomfort that seized Abraham. In return, Israel is like crippled with checkpoints and fences, uncertain limits. Let’s hope that the 60th anniversary will open up again to the universal values of the Mitzvot as shining lights.

"Necheh" consists of a progressive reduction of forces and muscles that makes people "lame"; sociologically speaking, this means "that peace is disturbed as the side rib - tzela' (the one of Eve, her shadowy side) that is required for balance and right" (Yalkut Deut. 933). The word is absolutely not connected with "nachon - firm, ready" that comes from "kun - to go into a special direction, cf. Berachot 60a). To begin with, "necheh" encompasses all these abilities of full and firm development. Out of a sudden or step by step, capacities are lessened ("Hikkah" = injured, knocked down). Interestingly though quite evidently, there is an indivisible connection between physical and mental injuries: "All weapons strike in their place, but calumny (lashon remiyah) strikes at a distance" (Y. Peah1, 18a). The Talmud insists on the fact that a "woman who has been attacked in words is similar to any young girl that would have lost her hymen by accidental lesion or deceitful words." (Ketubot 7, 10).

There is a move to crippling down and "necheh - nachyata" also has a financial meaning: "reduction of a debt against a landed security by deducting every year a stipulated amount for usufruct (Bava Metziah 67b). Land and agricultural products are thus considered as 'removable' limbs of some geographic body. This move can somehow be compared to the "tzimtzum -hiding process of God's Presence" or His presupposed "Eclipse" during the time of the Shoah (absence of God's name in the Hebrew Scroll of Esther).

There might be some other explanation, linked to what is veiled and thus present but require a lot of insightful humility. "When the Israelites stood at Mount Sinai, they pressed (tzimtzam) themselves – against one another in reverence - like a bride opening one part of her garments and holding another part together." (Shir R. 4,10). Over 7000 years (Megiddo, Jericho), the local inhabitants have been quaking, jerking over visible remainders. The subsequent historic strata show like lame-brained piles of earth and stones while people would rather avoid conversing, or would be extremely shy. Memory backgrounds are scattered as each group retains their elevator-shafts of specific mentalities and ways of interpretation.

As the "matzav - situation (of war)" is prolonging over a seventh year, we may have the impression to cripple down. Iyar comes from Akkadian "iyyaru" that refers to some pagan feast of flower blossoming, in particular small roses, like the "shoshanim" of the Song of Songs. In the history of Judaism, Iyar recalls the restoration of the Walls of Jerusalem, destroyed by Nabuchadnezzar (7 Iyar 355 bce). In the meantime, the Jewish community will celebrate "Pesach sheni - Second Passover", the second possibility to commemorate Passover with unleavened and leavened bread (14 Iyar / 05/1), a sign of God’s compassion for those who were "absent" mentally and physically to the roasted lamb feast… This week, different "ta'anit/tunes - fasts" call to full response-conversion/teshuvah to God (Ta’anit sheni kamma, chamishi, sheni Bathra) there is also the meaningful 18 Iyar "LaG -33th of the Omer computing”, en route to Shavuot. This reminds that R. Akiva's disciples perished because of their "lack of respect to each other".The same day, there is the joyous festival of the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, that drifts crowds to his grave in Meron as "a joyful thanksgiving day for all remedies and hopes". Iyyar 5th, 60th anniversary will be celebrated on May 8th. Is the creation of the State of the Jews, Israel, really and solely connected to the Western date on which World War II stopped for the Americans and the Allies? The Soviets ceased the following day. It remains a significant split. Does Israel reply upon the Prophets or on some unclear partition taken after a horrible planet wide war that never ended and is still in flames?

On May 3rd/4th, the Eastern Orthodox Church will celebrate the Sunday of Apostle Thomas. He was absent when Jesus appeared to the disciples. So he does not believe that the Master is risen. When Jesus comes the following Sunday, we have no evidence that he did try to put his hand and finger on Jesus' body. But Thomas did believe. And Jesus tells him: "Happy are those who believe without having seen". This is rooted in ancient midrashim: emunah (faith, confidence, amen) are not blind. They fulfill what God constantly creates and renews. Then, times and delays are not that important. I have a dream (why not, everybody does here), ober a vurer chulem, the real dream you only can catch in the Holy Land: let's create an event and meet, all of you - whoever you, we and they are - on Iyyar 5th 5968, i.e. on Friday 22nd of April 2208. With some mustard thin measure of faith, we might see great things, greater than we even can imagine.

Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel

May 1st, 2008 - 11 le'Omer 5768

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