Living in Interesting Times

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Why I Am Now Wearing Orange and Blue

Today I put on two coloured wrist bands; one orange and one blue. I want to explain why.

First some background. I am in favour of disengagement - albeit with many doubts and a heavy heart. But ultimately I support Sharon's plan and abhor many of the anti-democratic acts and rhetoric of the anti-camp. I want to feel compassion for those who are being moved from their homes against their will - but I have to admit that they are making it very hard for me.

But - today is Tisha B'Av. There is less than half an hour now before the fast ends. Like many previous years I have spent the day considering the meaning of 'sinat hinam' baseless hatred. It was for this reason we are taught the Second Temple was destroyed. The commentators go on to say that the Temple will be rebuilt because of 'ahavat hinam' (baseless love).

Today - one day from the Government deadline, at the end of 18 months of impassioned, even violent debate the lesson of sinat hinam has more resonance than ever. In the blue-orange dichotomy of our streets I have often found myself hating the other side. When they block roads, intimidate soldiers, and preach democracy whilst undermining I have become more and more radicalised towards a position that I am not totally comfortable with.

So today I choose to step outside. I choose to put on two wristbands. I choose to say I will love - even when I have little cause to. I will feel compassion for the suffering of others, how ever much I disagree with them. I will mourn with them the loss of their homes as I mourn the loss of the Temple 2000 years ago.

I do not find this easy. It is a real test of ahavat hinam. May we merit to see the rebuilding of the Temple in our days and may we learn to love each other, even when there is no reason at all.


  • No, no, no, no!

    Orange is not the colour of sympathy for the pain of our brothers.

    Orange is not the colour of ahavat hinam.

    Orange is not the colour of the lessons of Tisha B'av.

    On tisha b'av we commemorate the falling of the Temple - burnt to the ground, our tradition tells us because of the overzealousness of the few with disregard for the many.

    Grossman's article puts the Orange protest into correct perspective. The Orange camp are now and always have been feeding off the country's insecurities of exile and playing into our most exilic consciousness.

    Orange is the colour directly opposite to the blue of the Israeli ZIonist flag. Zionism is about saying we the people have the ability to decide what is best for us. No divine prophecy, no voice from the heavens can tell us what to do. We stand as a people and we must do what is best for us. We will no longer be victims, we will no longer be subordinate to anyone or any god.

    I feel the pain of the Settlers of Gush Katif. I recognise that they have been abandoned and double crossed. But I can never identify with their cause, I can never let my sentiment for their pain take precedence over the obligation which ZIonism places on every Israeli Jew - to make the best decisions for the good of the people.


    By Anonymous H, at 4:06 PM  

  • How spooky- I briefly entertained the same idea on the same day, but then decided against any colours, mainly due to the reasoning "H" utilises at the end of her/his response.

    By Blogger tafka PP, at 7:06 PM  

  • It's 1.5 years past the Disengagement. I got to this site looking for something about Eilat buses. My first cousin once removed from New Hampshire is coming to visit me in Kiryat Arba in two weeks and I have very little time to find out how much in advance one has to buy bus tickets to Eilat. It would help me if I had an answer to that question.
    But while I'm here, I'm wondering what the author of this site has to say about Disengagement now, after a year and a half. She is obviously Jewishly educated, at least to a degree. In her site she expresses annoyance at overzealous protests by the "anti camp" regarding Disengagement. Supposing it was obvious to me that giving up Gush Katif, besides ruining 9,000 lives, would cause bombs to drop in ever increasing numbers on various town such as Sderot. Would I not have an obligation to protest, even vociferously? Would it require "ahavat chinam" for someone to love such a protester?Rabbi Yisrael Meir Hakohen, the Chafetz Chaim, asks, rhetorically, "If you saw a caterer about to serve poison to hundreds of people seated at banquet tables, would you not run into the hall and say something?"

    By Anonymous Rafi, at 9:57 PM  

  • I totally agree with you. Your's is a sane voice in these trying times. May I find more friends like you. This is Joshua from Israeli Uncensored News

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:23 PM  

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