Sunday, January 4, 2009

Words, Words, Words

Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
Hamlet, Act 2, scene 2

When bloggers worry, they write. When bloggers get angry, they write. And when bloggers get inspired, they write. Therefore, when war breaks out in Israel, bloggers write. And write and write and write. But with only so many hours in the day, how do we choose which words to read?
Turn to Ima on the Bima, who has done an incredible job of organizing the dozens of posts that have been written this week about the war in Israel (and other topics) in Haveil Havalim #199, "The We Can't Stop Twittering/Blogging/Reading/Worrying/Watching/What's Going On in Israel Right Now Edition...."

Meanwhile, Flash, who is only 15 and doesn't really remember much about previous Israel/Arab clashes, is incensed about the words being used to describe the IDF by the anti-Israel protesters he sees on TV: aggressors, occupiers, cruel, murderers. "How can they say those things?" he asks. "Don't they know that this is all the Arabs' fault? Don't they understand that Israel has to defend itself?" And I explain, over and over again, that they don't really want to see, they don't really want to understand. That hatred and anti-semitism and stupidity will trump reason and logic and morality every time. But still, the words he is hearing deeply offend his adolescent sensibility that the world must always be just and fair. He is learning, it seems, about the power that words hold to distort reality and move people to act in ways that are often unjust. It would be nice if the world's media outlets shared his insight.

7 comments:

ilanadavita said...

It is not always (is it ever?) easy to be an idealistic teenager in this world.

Leora said...

It's nice that up to now he didn't have to face cold reality.

I remember being in a college class with a bag of buttons. One said,
"Zionism Yes, Racism No." I had never given it much thought. A woman in the class (she was from Lebanon) pointed to the button and shook her head "no". It was really my first exposure to someone who saw the world very differently than me.

Lakewood Falling Down said...

It's a tough spot as a parent to be in, to have to start showing your kids that even something simple like arabs killing jews is not black and white to the world. While I HATE the "oh,it's a Goyishe thing" attitude of our Yeshiva society, I can say I do believe when our sages that, yes Eisav does hate Yaakov. It becomes more complex when you are a teen and even an adult when you deal with average people who really don't have a clue. Nice peolple who just don't get it, even when shown rocket attacks, killings and murders. Who would have thought so soon after 9/11, the world would sympathize so much with terrorists. Oh wait our sages did...

Phyllis Sommer said...

thanks for the link.
don't you wish you could keep in him his idealistic bubble for longer....oy vey.

Lion of Zion said...

RAIZY:

i actually think some of the news reporting is the best it has been years (of course everything is relative)

RivkA with a capital A said...

It is my children's loss of innocence that pains me the most.

When I was their age, I was oblivious to the dangers of the world. My husband was a news junky from a very young age, so he was aware of these things as a teenager. But what did I know? Nothing. And despite the anti-semitism, couched as anti-Zionism, that I experience in my college days, I really did not fully appreciate what your son is experiencing until post Oslo, in those first years of protesting, when I started to discover that Israel is not really a democracy, and the media lies....

SuperRaizy said...

I didn't look at Flash's statement as a troublesome thing. I think it's a normal part of growing up to lose your blind innocence and start to see the world the way that it really is.