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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Blogging, Jewish Blogging

Musings #60
July 18, 2004

Blogging, Jewish Blogging

My husband and I are Jewish bloggers. It does sound a bit obscene for those who haven’t heard the term before. Since I only found out what a blog was a few weeks ago, I presume that some of you aren’t familiar with the word. They are internet sites on which one posts whatever one wants on one’s own “page.” We each have our own blogs, and we write about Jewish and Israeli subjects. When I finish this musing, it, too, will appear on my blog.

Our blogs aren’t among the big hits. As far as we can tell, nobody seems to check them but us. In the world of blogs, there are some major celebrities. We’re not among them. We’re still waiting in the wings, unknown and undiscovered. It may be our fault.

From my peeks at the popular ones, I realize that they are like the diaries mine and earlier generations locked, far from prying eyes. I can’t imagine confessing everything to a keyboard and tossing it into cyberspace so that anyone can read it, and even if the writer is careful to put an untraceable address, it’s child’s play for hackers to find out the blogger’s true identity.

I’m from a different generation. I can’t go around in public places shouting intimate details of my life into a cellphone, for all to hear. Socializing has changed so much in recent years. It used to be that when at a wedding, everyone sat around the table talking to each other, or trying to talk over the noise of the band. Now they’re still talking, but they’re talking to others on their cellphones.

I read that most bloggers last about six months, and by then stop writing. Could it be that they gave up waiting to be discovered, waiting for hits and comments? Don’t they realize that a true diary is supposed to be concealed until one dies. Only then should the secrets be discovered.

Back to our blogs. We both applied to get onto the “Jewish Bloggers Webring.” When we were put on the waiting list, we were informed that it would take a few days, and we were in the late thirties, early forties on the list. At one point, we made it into the twenties, but after waiting over a month and a half, I think we’re well into the seventies or eighties now. It seems pretty clear that we’re too staid and boring to catch the eye of the list-owner.

The ones that have been put ahead of us tempt and tease the reader with tales of woe, of “…squirmy details…complaints, …whinges and general bitterness… Rants, raves, and butterfly bellyaches… …rumors and speculations… …Burning thoughts… …dating stories… ….living passionately….” (All the words and phrases are direct quotes from the blog blurbs on queue to be accepted to the Jewish Ring.)

I guess we’re just a couple of bores, dull lives and all that.

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Shilohmuse@yahoo.com
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/
http://www.shilo.org.il/



Friday, July 16, 2004

The Wizard of Oz


Musings #59
July 13, 2004

                                                             The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz was right, at least according to the Judy Garland movie. The Great and Powerful Wizard told Dorothy that the power to return home had been with her all the time. She didn’t need his help at all.

Over the years, ok decades, as my Hebrew slowly improved, words developed new connotations for me. One of them is “Oz.” If you pronounce it “oze,” with a long “o,” you have the Hebrew word meaning: valor, courage, strength, fortress, glory.

This week the news has been filled to overflowing with reactions to the World Court’s decision that we have to take down the security fence. Everyone’s hysterical about it, for various reasons. There are those who are against the fence, because it’s an inconvenience for the Arabs and is on “their” land. Others are hysterical because they fervently believe that the fence will bring security, so they are terrified that there won’t be one. Some Israelis are less concerned about the fence than the fact that “the world” is angry with us. That puts them in a real panic, since they want “the world” to love us and approve of us.

Sometimes I think I’m the only one who doesn’t care. I’m not even going to get on the issue of the fence right now. I just don’t care what the World Court, or Europe or the UN or the US, or any foreigners think of our policies. I’m also not impressed by something, just because “everyone” may be doing something or may think a certain way.

When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to use the word “everyone.” If I dared request something or permission to do something, “…because everyone is…” I’d get the lecture:


“If everyone was jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you jump, too?”

I learned very young to make my own decisions and not be swayed by the “great and powerful” “everyone.” In actuality “everyone” frequently ends up as weak and pathetic as the “wizard” who was hiding behind the curtains.

I don’t understand why our pre-State leaders felt it so necessary to receive the permission of the infant UN to declare statehood. I don’t understand why our politicians and media crave the approval of American and other foreign politicians. I don’t understand why our government accepts aid vouchers for military equipment from America, which results in the destruction of our own military industry. I don’t understand why our ancient and distinguished Jewish People keeps begging the wizard to do what we can and should do for ourselves.

Only when Toto, the dog, pulled the curtain away, and the wizard’s humanity and weakness were exposed did the Wizard of Oz admit the truth. He had no magic powers. Dorothy, who had killed the wicked witch, was much more powerful than himself. If Dorothy wanted to go home, she had the power to do it herself. If we want true security, it won’t come from the UN, US or any foreign body. It’s up to us, only us, to use the “oze” inherent in us.

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Shilohmuse@yahoo.com
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/
http://www.shilo.org.il

Thursday, July 8, 2004

They’re Not The Same

Musings #58
July 6, 2004

They’re Not The Same

Last night my husband and I were vastly outnumbered at the official “American Independence Day Reception” of the U.S. Consulate, Jerusalem. We were the minority of the minority. Just being Jewish Israelis made us different from most attendees; then add my husband’s crocheted kippah and my hat. To put it mildly, we were easy to spot, and that’s just the superficial aspect. No other Jews from our type of neighborhood were there either.

The vast majority of the guests were Arabs, church clergy, or a combination of the two. We all had to pass through security checks and be on the official invitee list. There were live music and lots of food, but the only food reliably kosher was the ice cream.

Of course there was a ceremony. Four U.S. Marines marched as a tightly choreographed unit with flags. I have no idea how the two, in the middle, holding the flags could see where they were going, as the flags covered their faces. They just kept blindly following their flags, with that American confidence; they know what’s right.

Then we heard the speech describing the past year in Jerusalem, which included a phrase that was both so wrong and so typical of American policy: “…more deaths on both sides…” It’s the same as lumping Japanese kamikaze pilots and U.S. Navy sailors killed by Japanese torpedoes as “…more deaths on both sides…” I think I deserve a medal for self-control, since I didn’t make a fuss right then and there.

A few minutes later, after “The Star Spangled Banner” blared from very loudspeakers, and then the Marines blindly marched back. American policy is blinded by their “principles” of “even-handedness.” This concept ignores right, wrong, terror, murder and victims.

Our annual invitation to this American Independence Day event is rather recent, even though we’ve been on official “consulate lists,” as “contacts” for at least twenty years. I remember, it must have had been about twelve years ago, an American “official” was visiting our humble Shiloh home, when my husband broached the subject. “I understand that there are consulate events to which you invite various Israelis, Arabs, but no Jews from YESHA.” The official very smoothly answered: “But we don’t invite anyone from the Chamas terror organization, either.” Well I couldn’t stay quiet. “Do you mean that you’re equating us with the terrorists who murdered my friend, Rachella Druk, just a few short months ago?” Ok, I’m not very diplomatic. I’m neither sorry, nor embarrassed by my outburst. He deserved a lot worse than I gave him. Imagine, in my home, served my food and telling me that I was in the same category as terrorists.

I can’t say that absolutely nothing has changed, since now we’re on the invitation list to the American Independence Day bash. But in terms of policy, nothing has changed. Not since hundreds of Israelis have been murdered by terrorists all over Israel, and not since thousands were murdered in the states on 9-11.

Americans haven’t learned a thing. They don’t realize that the terrorists who attacked American targets are inspired by the fact that the terrorist, Arafat, is now accepted by the U.S., U.N. and even some Israelis, as legitimate national leader. The coordinated terror attacks that so traumatized America derived from the same terrorism plaguing us here in Israel.

By lumping together victims of Arab terror with the perpetrators, the American government shows a total lack of comprehension. They are blindly following their flags and policy according to their presumptions and theories, never letting facts get in their way. It may prove dangerous to them, again, and for sure it endangers us here.

Alas, if we had real leadership in Israel, it wouldn’t matter at all, because a true leader would never follow another country. A true leader leads.

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Shilohmuse@yahoo.com
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/
http://www.shilo.org.il