Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Glitch in the System

In The Matrix, Neo is told that deja vu is merely a glitch in the system. Real life is a bit different, and any feeling of repetition is based on experience and memory, not just some code experiencing a momentary problem. Our human code allows us to recall via one of the most primal senses we contain - intuition.

Today's feeling of deja vu was one which evoked so much pain and so many memories, that I found myself wishing it was all just a product of complex computer programming. I was in a Hebrew U cafeteria buying lunch with a friend, and as we passed by a TV over one of the counters on our way out, my friend stopped and motioned to the screen. At first I thought there had been a terrorist attack - there was fire, smoke, soldiers and screaming people. Then I realized it was the evacuation of Amona. The Amona issue is a delicate, and one which I haven't got the strength to go into now. But watching the evacuation, I was mentally catapulted back to August, and the Gaza Disengagement.

I was against the disengagement, and while I didn't go down to Gaza to participate in a last stand, I proudly wore my orange ribbon on my bag and my car made it's statement as well (much to the chagrin of my husband, who was pro-disengagement). During the days when they were evacuating the Gush Katif and Neve Dekalim shuls and yeshivot, I would come home from work every day and sit in front of the TV crying. I deal with stress and pressure in various ways, and one of them comes in the form of my old friends Ben & Jerry. The hubby would come home and find me red faced, eyes swollen, with empty ice cream cartons on the side. But the saving grace of the disengagement was the humanity which shone through it all, on both the settlers and soldiers sides. Today was a different story. Today was the disengagement gone wrong.

The news ribbon on the bottom of screen reported hundreds had been injured and a total state of chaos had ensued. I began to cry. Now, for those of you who are unaware, academia in general is fairly left wing. Hebrew U is a proud bastion of left-wing sentiment, much like the proverbial ostrich with it's head buried in the sand. Getting an alternative voice to be heard is a bit like surgery minus the anesthesia. Results are achieved, but at a cost. My friend whom I was with was shocked. She asked me why I was crying, and placed what she thought was a calming hand on my shoulder. She could not understand why I was so affected and how someone "like you" could be right wing.

I was crying for the settlers being evicted from their homes, who were living there for the purest of motives.

I was crying for the soldiers who were in the position where they were being attacked by their fellow man, their fellow Jew.

I was crying for the teenage activists whose belief in G-d and the Torah, and in their mission is so pure and is being shattered to pieces, and innocence being destroyed.

I was crying for my country, my people, what we've come to.

Have we brought ourselves to this place? Has world intervention brought us to this place? I loathed the sight of youths throwing tables from rooftops as much as soldiers coming in with truncheons and riot gear. The youth of Gaza and Amona be of army age in a few years. Will their encounters with the army have soured them so much and destroyed so much of their ideology and love for our country that they will become like the Tel-Avivniks who are proud to state that they refuse to serve in the Israeli army? Will the soldiers forever be embittered against those who are doing their utmost to staunch them?

Will the wound keep being reopened and reopened, until the tissue can no longer heal and a festering wound is all that's left? As I go to sleep with a heavy heart and tears in the back of my throat, all I can do is pray that my little country can pull itself together and get past the self-inflicted wounds, which some say will save us and some say will break us.


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