Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Today was a happy day. i handed in a paper, 33 pages long, that took me days to write. It involved analyzing a company, using all kinds of secret functions on Excel, and just going through endless amounts of pointless data. But now I know more about Excel then I want, and much more about Schlumberger then I could possibly care. Schlumberger is an oil company. Its not in Iraq. And its not Jewish.
Yom Hazikkaron is coming. I'm not a fan of the siren. Granted, if I'm in the street, I'm going to stand. But not out of respect for the dead. I'm going to stand cuz I dont care to make an anti-standing statement. Its not worth the effort.But I definitely dont agree with the whole thing. My first problem is that standing in a moment of silence isnt a Jewish thing. Jews pray. But in reality, we waste so much time throughout the day, to decide that the one minute of silence is wasting time is not a real argument. Although to make it a national minute to waste time does bring it to a new level. But I realized something else. When we pray for someone who died, although it may help us on some level, the ultimate goal is to help the soul of the departed. We do things in their memory to bless them. Something positive is happening in honor of the dead man, and we hope G-d acknowledges that and helps them out up there. Whats the purpose of standing in silence? To remember the dead. But to what purpose? Lets say I use the minute to its fullest. I think of all those who died for us, who gave their lives so we could lead ours. I think of specific instances, of soldiers who put themselves at risk for others, of those who were killed in terror attacks. Then the siren stops. The minute is over. And I continue walking down the street. Does the dead guy care that I thought about him? I dont think so. Does it make me feel better about myself, knowing that I'm not being so egotistical, that I am taking out time to think of others? Possibly. But then, the whole reason I'm standing is to make myself feel better. So it's a purely selfish thing to stand in memory. Obviously, this country being Jewish only in name, they cant institute something positive, like the whole country saying Shema at the same time in memory of the dead. just 6 little words. but of course, we'd rather just stand still and do nothing then actually try to do something for these soldiers who died for us. I think these soldiers are looking down and getting pretty pissed off. Here, they went out and got killed defending us, and all we can do is stand and stare at each other? What kind of respect is that?? It doesnt have to be saying Shema. It could be giving tzeddaka. Imagine if everyone gave 10 agurot in memory of the dead. Then, we can all feel good we did something, and the dead get points, cuz we gave in their memory, and we gave charity. Then everyone wins.


Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

in regards to the siren, and it's lack of Halachic origin I would like to you re-read this weeks parasha. when you read it on Sabbat take a look at what it says under Rosh Hashana. (Chapter 23, Verse 24)."on the Seventh month on the first it will be to you a Shabbaton Zichron Trua Mikra Kodesh"
to put it simply the word Zichron translates to rememberance with a great Shofar sound.
I have to ask you now, what do you think about during Shofar Blowing? I know you don't talk or pray so what are you doing?

As for what to do during the Siren, I think that one of the beauties of the siren is that it can "speak" to every Jew no matter what they believe. No matter if you are thinking of your friends, or saying Tehillim. The Idea behind it (similer to the Shofar) is that we have time to stop and reflect!
If you feel that you want to say "Shma" during it go right ahead, I think that it is a great idea. And if you want to give Tzadaka for the soldiers afterward, I don't think anyone will stop you.

12:51 PM  

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