Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

Powered by WebAds

Friday, July 22, 2005

A Unique Nation on Earth

An incredibly heartwarming picture was posted here by Mirty (2nd one down), as well as here on my bro-in-law's blog. In the latter case, no further words were included - as indeed none are needed. Unless it is to quote the verse that the midrash tells us is found in the tefillin metaphorically "worn" by God: "Mi ki'amcha yisroel, goy echad ba'aretz" - "Who is like your people Israel, a unique nation on the earth"!

After my pessimistic view yesterday of the divisiveness, and potential for violence, inherent in the current disengagement plan, it is reassuring (as Soccer Dad also notes) to see Jews on opposite sides of the issue - literally and figuratively - being able to unite where it counts most. No better message can be sent heavenward as we begin the annual three-week period of mourning for the destruction of the two Temples. And no better antidote can be found to the causeless hatred that led to the 2nd Temple's destruction, and to the galus (exile) in which we still languish.

OK, now on a less lofty/pious note... the picture does also remind me of the following oldie-but-goodie of World War One vintage (warning - I may butcher the Yiddish in the punch line, but it's just not the same joke without it!):

An American Jewish soldier stationed on the Austrian front lines, became known in his unit for uncommon bravery. On multiple occasions, he would go behind enemy lines at night, and come back with a dozen or so prisoners, which he apparently captured single-handedly without a shot being fired. He refused to reveal his method for accomplishing this incredible feat, and his commanding officer respected his wishes for secrecy. Finally, after the war ended, the officer could no longer contain his curiosity and asked the soldier how he did it.

"Simple," the man replied. "I would just sneak up within earshot of the front, and call out 'Yidden! Ich darf a minyan fur kaddish!' ['Jews! I need a minyan to say kaddish!'] and immediately, ten or twelve Jews would come over in response!"

Postscript: My maternal grandfather did actually fight for Austria in WWI - as did significant numbers of Jews. My uncle has a couple of amazing stories about his father's war experiences, which I will plan to post someday, God willing.


Post a Comment

<< Home