Newsletter 38: Seeking the Truth
Shalom family and friends.
For the first time in the history of modern Israel Arab rockets succeeded in penetrating our defenses and causing severe damage to Israeli towns.
This war shattered the image that the Israelis had of themselves as a nation of supermen and superwomen. Now they're finding it hard to adapt to the truth that war and internal scandals have forced on them.
Rocket like scandals and real rockets are waking up Israelis to the realization that they are a nation like all the other nations and our leaders have human foibles.
Military defeat and internal scandals have darkened those bright, hopeful skies of Israel, created at its birth by leaders, like Ben Gurion, Sharett, Aba Eban, Golda Meir etc. who were paragons of virtue who could do no wrong.
We didn't manage to stop the rockets; Hizbullah stopped firing rockets because of an agreement of the UN, not because we found a military way to stop them.
In the past, when Hizbullah fired rockets into Israel we could say that if we really put our minds and military prowess to the problem we'd be able to stop them.
Now we've done that and we couldn't stop them. We've stood the test and failed. This is much worse than not standing the test. We can't lie to ourselves anymore.
The police and the courts are investigating a never ending chain of scandals and corruption amongst the highest rank of our leaders.
We feel vulnerable as we've never felt before. The general feeling in the country is that the war was a failure and we have corrupt leaders.
We blinded our eyes to the truth about our nation and now its hit us smack in the face and shattered the rosy image we once had of ourselves.
Looking for the truth is hard. Finding it is hard.
But worst of all is when we don't look for it and don't find it and it finds us.
It would have been much better for us to look for the truth and to find it ourselves than to have it find us and so surprise us and make us feel shattered.
After terrible suffering Job also decides that searching for the truth, however hard, is better than being found by it. This is why, only after all his suffering he asks the question he should have asked at the beginning:
"But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? (Job 28:12)
The newspapers are searching, like Job. They're like scavengers walking through a field and turning up stones. On the surface they look pretty and harmless but once turned up they reveal frightening snakes and scorpions.
Despite all this there are still people who, instead of forcefully going out on a search for the truth, want to return to the days of primordial goodness.
They dream of the past, of the early days of the birth of the modern state of Israel, when only perfect people lived here and they were governed by other perfect, moral, heroic men and women.
They dream of other countries, from whence they came and wish they were back there. Or they journey far and wide in search of "never never land".
These tempting instruments of myth, dreams and fantasy are really the instruments of darkness; he puts them into our hands making it easy to go back into darkness.
Knowledge, on the other hand was the instrument of light, but it was taken over by man. Now he has it only he can use it.
If he uses it he'll live and go into the future. If he doesn't he'll die and go back into the dead past.
Israel isn't a myth, a dream or a fantasy. It's real and real things have real problems and real suffering. The only way to survive here or anywhere is to search for knowledge (truth).
Truth is difficult to find and it's a momentary experience. Its beauty and power, however, is that once it has shed its light, it lights up the darkness for a moment. Afterwards darkness will return, but we'll always remember the thing seen.
It takes an effort of forgetfulness not to remember the thing seen that came into existence in a moment of truth.
Wishing you a great no news day. Yours sincerely. Leon.