Saturday, August 28, 2010

A New Week Begins

Shavua Tov friends and family,
I hope all is well outside of the blogosphere. Here in Israel, I just came back to base after spending a wonderful shabbat at my buddy's house, David Zisquit. As some of you know, we staffed pilgrimage together this past summer and created a great friendship. His family is very warm and kind, the food is delicious, and the conversation is always multi-faceted. His dad particularly enjoys pushing people in their readily accepted views about life. It makes dinners and lunches there much more interesting, in a very good way. He's one of the people who likes to play devil's advocate and it always helps me sharpen my ideas. Last night, we had a particularly heated conversation on the origin of the Torah she'ba'al peh(Oral Torah) that is for another time. Needless to say, we all still ended the conversation as friends :-)
This past week, I began my training for the coming year ahead. We discussed the format of the program, the structure of the schedule and the daily demands of the job. While much of it I had known from my year here, it was still very important to go over everything as i'm sure there will be things I forget throughout the year. The week ended in a very fun way with a trip to Dani Hai, a sort of ropes course/team building complex. We spent about 3 hours there doing various activities within the staff and it was a great way to open up to each other and be active(something that had been sorely lacking over the past couple days. The night ended at Yossi Garr's house(the director) with a BBQ. It was a great way to end the week at his beautiful home with his great family and cat. We played Taboo and Apples to Apples(and I, of course, dominated).
As I return to base tonight, I am super stoked for the week ahead as the Nativers will soon get here and I am afraid my free time will dissipate rapidly. That being said, I had one of those moments that makes Israel a horribly complex place. As many of you have probably seen, today was Gilad Shalit's 5th birthday since his kidnapping. For those who aren't familiar, here is an article explaining the situation. It was a very moving rally with both his parents sharing very impassioned words and other politicians speaking. However, the striking thing for me was happening down the street from the rally. In fact, right outside my window was a group of people holding a sign declaring that we shouldn't pay any price for Gilad's return. Hamas, the terrorist group who has Gilad, has demanded the release of thousands of convicted terrorists who are being held in Israeli jails. Those who were protesting this issue believe that this price is too high for Gilad's release. Separate of my views on his release, their rally seemed a bit ill-timed.
Parents "celebrating" their son's 5th birthday in captivity, I believe, should have their moment of catharsis. However, these folks deemed it necessary to stage a counter-rally where they certainly stole some spotlight. I wonder what they would feel had they been in Gilad's parents' shoes? For a religion that holds the value of one human life as paramount, I can't seem to figure out this collection of religious people. Does the value of one life change based on the demands of the situation? I have to stew on this one a bit more but perhaps you all might have some thoughts to share.
As always, thanks for reading, folks. A great week lies ahead!
All my love,

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm..... this sounds like a somewhat pensive guy. Must have inherited that from somewhere. Try not to overwhelm yourself with too much thinking, it can be hazardous although interesting to those of us who follow! Miss ya-