At eleven o’clock in the morning on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, a two-minute siren heard throughout the country marks the beginning of the day’s public commemoration ceremonies. Over the course of those two minutes, the entire country comes to a near standstill. People stop their cars on the roads and highways, get out, and stand at attention for the duration of the siren’s blast. Israeli radio and television stations focus their programming on stories of soldiers who lost their lives. The music is somber and the whole country feels like it is in mourning for those who lost their...
The rest of our session today will be very practical and pragmatic, very down-to-earth -- so I thought I would introduce it with just a bit of poetry. From the great Hebrew poet of the last century, Leah Goldberg:
B’chol davar yesh l’fachot shminit / shel mavet.
In everything there is at least an eighth part
that is death.
Its weight is not great.
With what secret and carefree grace
we carry it wherever we go.
On lovely awakenings, on hikes,
in lovers’ words, in distraction
forgotten at the edges of our being
always with us. It doesn’t weigh...
It took a week. All they could do for those first seven days was sit and weep. The shock was so intense that it took a full seven days before they even realized they were hungry. And once they became aware of their hunger, they had no idea where to begin their search for food. They’d never had to worry about finding food before. They were scared and lost. All they could think about was what had been, they couldn’t begin to comprehend the possibility of moving forward.
Their confusion was understandable. Their home had been a paradise. In fact,...
“Spring and Fall,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins:
To a young child
Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was...