“How is the mood over there now that Iran is so close to having the bomb?” That’s what friends in the States seem to ask most often now. Well, a few days ago I looked at a folding ladder in Talpiyot, Marcia went grocery shopping and later made a pie, and Penn_E napped for hours, sometimes in a spot on the floor in the sun, sometimes under her warm red blanket on the couch. With or without updates on Iran’s nuclear program, every day has been much the same, especially for Penn_E, who has developed a unique life-rhythm here in Jerusalem despite her significant handicap (which you probably know if you’ve been reading this blog…She’s blind as a bat).
Penn_E,” a Disney-centric person might ask, “given your issues, how do you manage to stay so content?”
Penn_E, with no concern for originality, would answer simply “Life goes on.” She’s that kind of a stuck-in-the-moment dog.
Our stoic little puppy (She will always be a puppy to us.) had already begun to lose her sight before we left South Carolina. We only became suspicious after her sister, Snoop_E, died. It seems Penn_E and the big scheming beagle had worked out some procedural things to get by. For example, without our really noticing, Snoop_E consistently led the way on walks; Penn_E followed a half-length behind, tail wagging, pretending to look at things. Some clues went unnoticed. For example, she quit dashing up the steps to bed at night but we counted that for old age. But now her game is up. She bumps into doors, misses stairs entirely, and runs into anything in our apartment that we leave out-of-place. But none of it has gotten her down. She shrugs off her missteps one at a time, tail wagging, just like in her sighted days.
So we haven’t mentioned Iran to her. She wouldn’t care.
It’s not that Penn_E or the locals don’t care, but they are aware of a more important truth; those lost in the logistics of how this or that political development might affect Israel are asking the wrong question. A nineteen year old female Israeli soldier posed the right questions on March 15 near a place called Pisgat Ze’ev Station.While riding the Jerusalem light rail on her way to report for duty, she was stabbed multiple times by yet another “Palestinian” hero.
Her question, as other Israelis rushed to her side, was, simply, “Why me?”
Good for her, because as simple as it is and as often as it’s been asked in the same context, her question is most important because the correct answer is the only real clue to understanding this mess. Despite all claims and counterclaims in this millennial dispute, despite agenda-laden UN studies and decades of doomed diplomacy, the correct answer to her, “Why me?” is most concisely and accurately rendered…
“Because, young lady, you’re a Jew.”
That’s it. None of the current violence against Jews has really anything to do with the Green Line, Palestine, Gaza, the Arab Spring, or Iran. It has everything to do with ancestry. Jew hating is nothing new and it’s not like we haven’t been warned. God’s chosen people were put on notice over two thousand years ago…
You will be so devastated as to become a proverb and a laughingstock among all the peoples to which Adonai will drive you. (Deut: 28:37)
But with our affliction comes the greater promise of eventual respite as Israel’s miraculous restoration continues.
For I will take you from among the nations, gather you from all the countries, and return you to your own soil. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and cause you to live by my laws, respect my rulings and obey them. You will live in the land I gave to your ancestors. You will be my people, and I will be your God. (Eze 36:24-28 )
With that future to look forward to, Iran notwithstanding, it’s not that difficult for Penn_E and the rest of us to rest quietly in our spot in the sun.