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Friday, May 16, 2014

Beat! Beat! Drums!

 Holocaust's unholy hold
The deeper we are stuck in our Auschwitz past, the more difficult it becomes to be free of it.
 By Avraham Burg 
 November 16, 2008,0,4227786.story
 ...The Shoah is so pervasive that a study conducted a few years ago in a Tel Aviv school for teachers found that more than 90% of those questioned view it as the most important experience of Jewish history. That means it is more important than the creation of the world, the exodus from Egypt, the delivering of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, the ruin of both Holy Temples, the exile, the birth of Zionism, the founding of the state or the 1967 Six-Day War...  

...I voluntarily withdrew from political life in Israel. I couldn't help feeling that Israel has become a kingdom lacking in vision and without a prophetic horizon. On the surface, everything is in order; decisions are carried out, life moves on, the ship sails along. But where is this movement heading? No one knows. The sailors are rowing without seeing anything; the lower-ranking officers are holding their eyes up to the leadership, but the leaders are not capable of seeing past each coming, rising, tumbling wave...

  ...utopian vision has fallen silent in Israel. Concerns for personal survival and well-being, as well as fear about the ongoing bloodshed and security emergencies, about Gaza and Iran and the realities of demographics and population, have silenced the moral debate and blocked the horizons of vision and creative thinking. I believe Israel must move away from trauma to trust, that we must abandon the "everything is Auschwitz" mentality and substitute for it an impulse toward liberty and democracy...  

The Past as a Mutual Panopticon Prison, wherein the Past imprisons the Present, the Present imprisons the Past, and both imprison the Future.

Time is growing short everywhere: Israel, the USA, Russia, the Ukraine, China, Vietnam.
There is an unholy gigantic drum and there are years between percussions.
The drums are beginning to beat again.
Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows—through doors—burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation,
Into the school where the scholar is studying,
Leave not the bridegroom quiet—no happiness must he have now with his bride,
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering his grain,
So fierce you whirr and pound you drums—so shrill you bugles blow.
Walt Whitman

reprint from 2008

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