l’éternel étranger

I feel I must say something about Toulouse.

I don’t know what to say.

וַיִּדֹּם, אַהֲרֹן

Aharon was silent after the death of his two sons.

So what can I say?

I’m reading Herman Wouk’s book from 2000 called The Will to Live on: The Resurgence of Jewish Heritage. I have absolutely no recollection of why I found out about that book; I think the last book I read by him was Marjorie Morningstar back in high school. I’ve changed a lot since then.

So has the world.

He has a part about the end of European Jewry, with the understanding that it was shifting all to Israel.

He wrote that 12 years ago, actually referencing a book that he had planned 20 years before that.

I think that we could say we’ve reached the end of the line now. Look at this excruciatingly accurate article on CNN (of all places): Europe’s blind spot on anti-Semitism

A just-released survey in 10 European countries found that 24% of the French population holds anti-Jewish sentiment, up from 20% in 2009. In Hungary, Spain and Poland, anti-Semitic sentiment is “off the charts,” according to Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League. Surveys show that 15% of Americans hold anti-Jewish views.

Powerlessness is all about what we Jews were in Europe; court Jews at best, favors gathered here and there.

No wonder we developed such long and complicated prayers.

We could only turn to G-d. We didn’t really know if His answers were what we needed, but that’s all we could hope for.

I keep thinking about the line יְהִי חַסְדְּךָ ה’ עָלֵינוּ. כַּאֲשֶׁר יִחַלְנוּ לָךְ: in the Psukei D’zimra section of morning prayers. I think it translates as

“May your mercy be upon us, [just} like we have hoped.’

I think this gets it.

It also is (surprise!) what Pesach is about–our total dependence on G-d.

If He hadn’t taken us out our Egypt…dayenu!

Not by any means…

I saw this piece of art and I thought it was cool enough to link.


This is Ward Shelley’s representation of the Diaspora.

I would say it should be called “Where are we going?”


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