Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy 4th...


Cool summer evening...
Laid out on a greal lawn
Free outdoor music..
Fireflies dancing
Fireworks filling the black
Sky

The rockets red glare
The bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there..

..o’er the land of the brave
and the home of the free..

I look around at the faces
Illuminated by the fireworks
And the pale full moon

A sea of diversity..
White
Asian
Black
Latino
Jewish
Italian
Irish
Proud to be part of something..
Glad to be free...and secure..

People say..Don’t feel so comfortable here..
Jews felt like Germans in Germany and look what happened..

But I really don’t think you can compare..
I look around again..and its obvious
America is so different..

No matter how hard a Jew thinks he’s German..the bottom line is..his anscenstors were not Aryan nor descendents of the Huns and Franks..

No my anscestors weren’t American..but neither was the next one over..and the one next to him..and the one to my other side..

United by a common bond..
A love of freedom..
And a world of opportunity..

Thank you America?
Who exactly is America that we thank?
America is us..
It’s me and you...
It seems a bit absurd thanking a government by the people for the people...

But if it weren’t for our Armed Forces..none of this would be relevent..
So
Thank you..brave men and women of our armed forces..for giving us the security that make this world of opportunity blossom..



.

Labels:

24 Comments:

Anonymous Allie said...

I understand you want to thank our govt, and I am totally with you on that...
But I couldn't disagree more with you comfort level. Actually, I should rephrase that - I am very comfortable here, and for that I have to thank the people that enable us to live in freedom. But don't for a second think that it couldn't happen here - maybe not in the same way... but until mashiach comes, Jews will never be totally at home.

July 03, 2007 7:17 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

allie...
actually..i said..its weird to thank a govt when in fact we ARE the govt..

Let me clarify something..
With Hashem running things anything can happen..here..and in israel..and anywhere around the world..and being comfortable should never cause us to be lax in our desire for Moshiach..

However..we can only think about the future in termso f what we learn from the past..and in this case there simply has never been a country like this to learn from. So unless something drastic changes in the makeup of the country , govt and constitution I logically can say..I'm very comfortable here..

I think also..that there's a strange underlying syndrome at play here..
Like a battered wife that suddenly founds herself free..has a hard time coping and seeing herself as free..after being a victim for so long..

I think after so many years of subjecation and abuse..we almost feel the need to think that it can happen here..

July 03, 2007 7:36 PM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

david - i DO NOT agree with your message. AT ALL.
Yes, the U.S. is a malchusah shel chessed. yes, we should be thankful to those who enable us to live this way.
and yes, i do feel ever so comfortable in this wonderful land of the people.

BUT (and this is a major but) we shouldn't feel comfortable here. galus is not about feeling comfortable. galus is about feeling that we DON'T have, that we're missing something. and though we don't ask for the nisyonos of the past, it was easier to feel different, to feel like a jew, back then.
"hatzileini nuh miyad achi miyad eisav" - yaakov prayed for deliverance from the hand of his brother, from eisav. as you know, brother is written first, because it is when eisav is like a brother that we're in the most danger. maybe not physical danger, but spiritual danger. the ability to live a frum life is taken for granted. any anti-semitsm in the workplace is brought to lawsuit.
we are very much at home here, very much a "part of the family".
and that? that scares me.

July 03, 2007 9:13 PM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 03, 2007 9:13 PM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

David, I think that it's a possibity that it could happen here. But I agree that we should still be thankful that things are okay at the moment BH.

Dreamer, good point, when we're too comfortable, assimilation goes up.

July 03, 2007 9:22 PM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I am with dreamer...

July 03, 2007 9:38 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Dreamer...
I'm not talking about spritual dangers here. Thats an entirely other story..
Although..I would venture to say that this network of Torah and Chessed could never flourish the way it has if not for this comfort level. The horrible conditions of Poland and eastern Europe gave birth to Communism..Socialism..and nearly swallowed up all the pre-war youth..

And beside..what do you define as "comofrt"?
Should we be reduced to poverty..so we can pray for a Messiah to put bread on our table?
Should we fear the next progrom so we shold ask for a Moshiach to vanquish Ivan?
Or shold we focus on the Beis Hamikdosh and all the spirtual glories of the Messianic era?

And I gotta tell you..you dont seem too terrified..

July 03, 2007 9:56 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

lvnsm...
"things are ok at the moment?"
You sound like you're triple locking your doors there..

July 03, 2007 9:58 PM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

david - it pays to read my WHOLE comment..

and though we don't ask for the nisyonos of the past, it was easier to feel different, to feel like a jew, back then

of COURSE we're not asking to have it the way it was back then.
but back then, yiddishkeit was OURS. it was something we worked for.

the point of our lives is not to pray for moshiach. the point of our lives is to come to a true hakarah of the ribono shel olam.
and that recognition is best aquired when thing are NOT so easy.
"eizo hee derech... pas bimelach tochal umayim bimsurah tishteh vi'al ha'aretztishan..."

again, i'm not saying that i'm asking for it to be hard again. chas vishalom! but to say that it's fine to be comfortable? no, i cannot agree.

(and btw, in germany, they also said that it was different than ever before)

a jew is a jew is a jew is a jew...

July 03, 2007 11:18 PM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

oh, and one more thing - how would you know how terrified i am?
i'm telling you - yes, i am scared.

July 03, 2007 11:20 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 04, 2007 1:19 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

dreamer...
it pays to read my ENTIRE post before commenting..

(and btw, in germany, they also said that it was different than ever before)


People say..Don’t feel so comfortable here..
Jews felt like Germans in Germany and look what happened..

But I really don’t think you can compare..
I look around again..and its obvious
America is so different..

No matter how hard a Jew thinks he’s German..the bottom line is..his anscenstors were not Aryan nor descendents of the Huns and Franks..

No my anscestors weren’t American..but neither was the next one over..and the one next to him..and the one to my other side..

Youre borrowing terms and using them as they were never intended..
By Comfort I dont mean a lexus nor 20 pairs of earrings..I mean freedom..freedom and a feeling of security..

As for the Mishna in Avos most Meforshim learn that it's not an ideal..pas b'melach tochal..rather not to be used as an excuse..look it up..

and once again..u skipped this in my last comment..
It was poverty and persecution that gave birth to all the "isms" of the last century that almost swallowed our youth alive spirtually..
Not comforts..and freedom..

July 04, 2007 1:33 AM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

David - I DID read your entire post. And what I'm saying is that it don't matter if the people around us are from a multitude of different nationalities. A JEW is different. A JEW is separate. A JEW has to remain apart.
And I am not either talking about physical comforts... I'm speaking of the multitude of spiritual comforts that, even if we are lacking, we get through our court system. Judaism is easy. Nothing to work for.

And the Mishna in Avos has a number of different perushim. Mine is one.

And once again, i did NOT skip your last comment. It simply isn't true. The people who succumbed to the 'isms' were not necessarily the poverty stricken folk. Many, if not more, of the wealthy people who had every piveledge in the world strayed to find more meaning. Because when all you're doing is aquired without any work, then you don't havemeaning, and you begin to search elsewhere.


And on another vein - think of Spain. It was a glorious country, and Jews were at the helm. Torah flourished. But then came the Inquisition. Ever wonder why? Think about it...

July 04, 2007 12:15 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Dreamer...
Yes a Jew has to remain apart...thats something we have to work on ..I'd rather that not be imposed upon from the outside..

and theres planty to work on..It all depends where you put your focus on..
I think because the basics are not a struggle it's easier for us to concentrate and struggle within..to become better people..
There are always struggles readily available..it doesnt have to be to keep kosher..

And once again, i did NOT skip your last comment. It simply isn't true. The people who succumbed to the 'isms' were not necessarily the poverty stricken folk. Many, if not more, of the wealthy people who had every piveledge in the world strayed to find more meaning. Because when all you're doing is aquired without any work, then you don't havemeaning, and you begin to search elsewhere.

Anyone who knows history knows that that's not true..
These movements came into life...in the ghettos of Eastern Europe..the Yiddish movement..Bundists..Yevtzekias...were not very active in Western Europe..
Every matzav presents it's own list of nisyonos..
It is well known that the state of Judaism pre-war was so bad in Poland/Lithuania...today its like paradise compared to then.
There wasnt a family that didnt have at least one sibling off..

And Spain..?
have u ever read history of Spain..?
Spain wasn;t a democracy.. Jews living under the protection of some noble kings..They were never "Spanish"..
Thats exactly my point.
There is no such thing as an American..as a race..

July 04, 2007 12:34 PM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

david - of course we'd rather not be imposed from the outside. that's not my point. the facts are that when it's NOT imposed on from the outside, it's usually NOT something the majority will take on by themselves.

look about you. how many thinking people do you see? how many people truly see themselves as different from the rest of the world? how many people rather view themselves as equals, as the same as everyone else, just coming from different backgrounds?
DO you uknow how many teens I speak to who tel me that it's WRONG for a jew to think he's better? For a jew to think he's different? and not only teens who who are troubled and confused. regular, normal bais yaakov girls. going to regular schools. who rearely get into trouble.

we're all the same. nothing different. equal rights, equal oppurtunities... what will these future mothers give over to their children? why should anyone WANT o be different if they don't think that it's something special, someting viable?

and we're getting pretty close to
There wasnt a family that didnt have at least one sibling off..
most people know a couple of kids and adults who have gone off...
everything is easy. easy come, easy go.

again, i am NOT advocating for a turn back to difficult situations. what i AM saying is to be aware.

and yes, i have read history books. the jews in spain identified themselves as jews AND as spaniards, and some had a difficult time defining the boundaries.

there may not be just one "race" in the US, but there sure exist certain ideals and certain values. and many of those values are neged torah.

again, david, the main point i'm contesting in your post is this
People say..Don’t feel so comfortable here..
Jews felt like Germans in Germany and look what happened..

But I really don’t think you can compare..
I look around again..and its obvious
America is so different..


you think the US is different? it's NOT. in every generation that had it good, they thought the same...

but..
shebichol dor vador omdim aleinu lichaloseinu...
holds true for eternity...

whatever.

July 04, 2007 2:54 PM  
Blogger BEHIND A SMILE said...

If we get too comfortable then Hashem will be forced to remind us that we are still in golus, which I don't wish on anyone. That is why there are so many things we do zacher l'churbon, so we shouldn't feel too comfortable

July 04, 2007 2:57 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

dreamer...
Every generation and every circumstance we're in has its own set of nisyonos..
By convincing yourself that the situation is different than it is..doesnt change that..
I think that its wonderful that we're moving from a communally based community in that our relationship with God is imposed and shaped by the outside..to an individual based one..as I've said numerous times in previous posts..
like here
http://davidonthelake.blogspot.com/2006/12/frumkeit-and-frum-culture-great.html

I think after so many years of being beholden to an outside power..we're having a hard time acclamating to the present..and so we convince ourselves that it can happen..and will happen again...instead of realizing that this galus is a new breed.
Like I said before..the future can only predicted by learning from the past...I dont think there has ever been a situation like this..and b'derech hateva no I dont think it can happen here..

There are a few factors that make America unique.
A. The constitution and system of checks and balances. R’ Chaim of Volozin was shown the Constitution when it was written and he commented that the authors had Ruach Hakodesh while writing it.
(He also said that America will be the last stop before Moshiach comes.)
B. The fact that America is a melting pot. Jews are used to living in countries dominated by one nationality. Germany, Poland..etc. Anti-semitism is often times an outcome of fierce Nationalism which simply doesn’t exist here. Whites, Blacks, Latinos and Asians are all looking out for themselves while defining their joint Nationalistic experience as Americans. Certainly not the ideal situation for Anti-semitism to flourish.
C. My Grandfather, who lived through many of the horrors of the last century would always tell me Americans as a rule are good people. Americans by nature and nurture are just better hearted people. They’re more compassionate and quicker to help with charity.
D. There is no deep rooted history of violent persecution here. In Europe, even in the “good” years you were never more than 20 years removed from a despotic autocrat, a Dreyfus Affair, a pogrom and a coup. There simply was no precedent for treating Jews kindly.

The fact that people "felt" safe was relative..and looking back subjectively we can see so clearly the contrast between America and Spain or Germany..

In Germany we were Jews living among Germans..
In Spain Jews living among Spaniards..

Here we are the people..that are also the government..I wouldnt even call it a Malchus Shel Chessed when WE ARE the Govt..The people..

So whats the point of Hakaras Hatov..to ourselves?!

and..trust me we're nowhere near the level of dropouts before the war...Nowhere even close..


bas...
well..shouldnt..wouldnt..couldnt..we all do..

Didnt you learn in school there are 2 types of galus..the stick and the smile?
Why do we have such a hard time accepting that this golus is one of the smile..??
Why cant we adapt to that?

Its simply mind boggling...

July 04, 2007 3:53 PM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

I'm not really so concerned about something happening. It's just that a friend from college was concerned and tried to make me aware.

July 04, 2007 9:10 PM  
Blogger chav said...

Good one!

You're right.

July 04, 2007 11:51 PM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

david - we don't work biderech hateva. jews are above tevah.
ever hapened that you totally didn't expect something to happen, but yet it did? i'm sure. that happens all the time.
just because it's not EXPECTED, it doesn't mean it won't happen.
A jew is not supposed to be comfortable in golus.

and again, i did not say that terrible things happened here or will necessarily happen here. what i did say was that being comfortable is a scary thing for a jew in golus.
does that make sense to you?

July 05, 2007 2:01 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

lvnsm..
ok

Chav..
Thanks..

Dreamer...
First off..Hashem runs the world through Teva for the most part...and once we take that out of the picture..than it's really silly to talk about or predict anything for that matter..
But thats not really the issue..

Being comfortable is a metziyos..its the reality..
Sit someone in a big leather love seat..and they are going to be comfortable..
The question is how do we handle this comfort..this new reality..and new type of galus..
Do we assimilate as so many have done?
Or do we build big vibrant communities with educational and chessed institutions on a scale never known in Jewish History?
On an individual scale..does this comfort..make it easier for you to learn gemara on a train?
Or does it make it easier for you to go to a nightclub with a beard and payos..?

No I'm not at all scared of the comfort..I accept the new reality as a challenge..every shul and yeshiva that we build here..is another corner for Hashem in this world..
We just have to adapt..
We ask for a different Moshiach than those of our anscestors..
They asked for a savior from the next pogrom..
We ask for a savior from the next nisayon..

July 05, 2007 10:03 AM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

Right, david. How do we handle the comfort? Is the general frum velt handling the comfort correctly?
I say not. And that's what all my previous posts were about.

July 05, 2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

I think as a community...we've done what the communitys resposibilty is..
To create a "space" in which a person can choose to be a Torah Jew..
If you think about it..it's miraculous what we've created.
In the heart of NYC the great melting pot where every nationality enters and gets swallowed up....we created a community that flies in the face of that..
Where a person can live and learn..in a vibrant community.
Now it's up to individuals to excercise their Bechira..

July 05, 2007 11:29 AM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

True. The community has done a lot, but it is never enough....
And to make the correct choices for the right reasons can be very difficult.

Our little enclave is unbelievable, but it would be even better if it weren't so little...

And yes, bechira is what it's all about, my friend. That's life.
:)

July 05, 2007 4:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home