Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Mazal of Being Me

As I have written about before on my blog, one of the things I love about being here in Israel is how things just seem to always work out for me. There are times where I think I have a problem, but something about my attitude and being in my homeland combined give me the strength to deal with all the realities I face. It may be like the old Jewish saying goes, that when a Jew lives outside of the land of Israel our prayers and our blessings really don't belong to us, as a nation. They belong to the nation we are situated in. That may be why Rabbi Mosheh ben Maimaon (Rambam) wrote in his monumental work the Mishnah Torah that it is forbidden for a Jew to leave the land of Israel and settle permantly in another land. That is outside of a faimine, or some pretty major distress.

משנה תורה - הלכות מלכים ומלחמות פרק ה

יא אסור לצאת מארץ ישראל לחוצה לארץ לעולם--אלא ללמוד תורה, או לישא אישה, או להציל מיד הגויים, ויחזור לארץ; וכן יוצא הוא לסחורה. אבל לשכון בחוצה לארץ, אסור--אלא אם כן חזק שם הרעב

(Translation - Mishnah Torah, Laws of Kings and Wars Chapter 5)
11) It is forbidden [for an Jew] to leave the land of Israel to the lands of the world. Unless to learn Torah, to marry a wife, to deliver oneselves from enemy nations, and to return to the Land [of Israel]; it is permitted to do business. But to dwell outside of the Land [of Israel] it is forbidden. Unless there is strong faimaine....

There is further a concept that every nation has been given by Hashem (G-d) a divine entity, an angel if you will, to receive the prayers of that nation. The concept goes on to state that in Israel we don't have an angel, we have Hashem. Thus, when a Jew prays in another nation his/her prays are counted with that nation. Yet, when we are in our own nation, we receive so much more since we are on our home soil. I know both feelings, and after I moved to Israel I completely understood the feeling of both concepts. It is because of how I feel about this that I also wish the same for other dispersed peoples such as African Americans, Kurds, Armenians, the Amazigh (berbers), and Native Americans.

In fact concerning the dispersion of West Africans into the Americas, I came across an interesting site that will be a part of my month of Positive Solutions. The site is that of Fihankra International, and I really applaud them on the work they are doing to help return various African Americans to their native homelands.

Specifically, this comes into play for the video on Strengthening the Black Man through Nationalism which I am currently working to finish this week. More on that next month.

To the Point

So now to what really caused me to write those post. Yesterday, I went into the office to find myself caught in some of what we call in Hebrew "Balagan" i.e. a mess. Being the Israeli I had to make it known that this particular mess always happens. When I become Israeli me, people many times back up and back off, because very few people have ever seen me angry. Those who have are often shocked because it can look like this.

Yet, I am not one of those people to get angry and remain angry. Once I let loose I can go back to being normal Israeli Ehav Ever. So yesterday, was a bit of a balagan, but I don't let those things get to me.

The only problem was that my normal ride back to Jerusalem wasn't at work yesterday. So I decided to wait for the 433 bus. Now for those of you who know Israel I work near Qibbutz Gezer, which near a lot of ancient Israeli history. So I waited and waited and waited for the bus. It didn't really matter to me when it came, since my new libearation from having a car makes me feel good in accepting a ride whenever it comes.

Gezer Platform

A young man came to the bus stop where I waited and was trying to flag down a ride (hitchhiking in Israel is a big thing). I asked him if he knew when the next bus was coming, but he didn't know. He said that he had a friend that was coming to pick him up and if she was going to Jerusalem he would ask if she could give me a ride. She arrived and agreed to give me a ride to the entrance of Jerusalem at Givat Shaul. She dropped off the guy and I remained in the back seat as she flew, and I mean flew, through the hills leading up to Jerusalem. The night sky and air was so wonderful to me, and I felt a certain sense of freedom that I haven't had in years. I was a passenger, and I could sit back and enjoy the trip. For years I have had cars, and I had forgetten how liberating it is to not have to worry about those things, but to simply accept life as it comes at you.
Ariel view of Givat Shaul

She dropped me off at the edge of Givat Shaul and I walked from there home to Rechavya, which I would have to imagine is about 4 or 5 km. I love the freedom of walking so much that I pretty much refuse to take buses and cabs, unless I am in a big hurry, but now a days I am not. I love the feel of the night air across my face, the feel of the Jeusalem streets and sidewalks under my boots. I love the feel of the night and the lights across the hils. I have so much to be grateful for that Hashem gave me the opportunity to return to my real home.

So that is my little slice of life here. Through all the thigns that happen to me, I love it all. The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue.


Anonymous said...

Your description of the Israel in the beautiful night air makes me want to visit again. You are correct about hitchhiking being so prevalent in Israel. The first time I drove and saw the members of the army with thier guns straped on their soliders.....I thought I HAD to stop and pick them up as they gestured with a point to the ground.

Ehav Ever said...

Hello Farabanta,

Sorry for the late reply. That is funny story. I had a similar situation once where a soldier pretty much jumped in when I stopped to drop someone off.