Random Short Takes

May 20, 2014
1864_two_cents_rev

Just putting in my two cents worth…

besyata

Sometimes I have random thoughts that I have not yet developed into an article. These are daydreams and fragments of contemplation that I find meaningful. In no particular order, here they are.

I often wonder about strangers if I could be distantly related to them, if a fork in my family tree could lead back to their family. It is this unanswered question that gives me a feeling of brotherhood with strangers. What if I were to know for sure, who I was related to? Some people would then be further removed than others. (Since we are all related to Noah and his sons) If I were to have all the answers, I would know more. But would I be wiser?

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

There is a great deal of talk about “yichus” in Jewish tradition. Yichus is ancestry, and it is considered desirable to have famous rabbis as ancestors. I do not have any famous ancestors, except for some random people who had their 15 minutes of fame. I view ancestry like this. Having a record of living a good life, and children and grandchildren who do likewise, is yichus. The ideal is to have one generation build on the achievements of a prior generation, so that a life of a thousand years is lived by a room filled with people who lived in successive generations. To me, that is how I understand immortality.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

I care more about the rules a person lives by than what they believe about the past or the eternal hereafter. It is not that I don’t have some strong feelings about history, heaven and hell, but I’m not going to terminate a friendship over those opinions.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Because I am of mixed Istrian Jewish ancestry, I have a hard wired awareness of conflicting historical narratives. Imagine being descended from people who fought on both sides in the American Revolution and hearing both sides of the story. That is what I experience. Istria is divided between Italy, Croatia and Slovenia, and has an identity that crosses national borders. The Italians fought with Yugoslavia over this beautiful region, and the little people got hurt on all sides. Having ancestry from the former Yugoslavia gave me an intense feeling of connection to the region, and an intense dislike of killing people over stupidity. This goes very well with my Judaism.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Considering a central religious text to be divinely inspired can be a source of murderous intolerance. It can also lead to the realisation that all of us fall short of perfection. It is possible to appreciate a person for embodying a single desirable quality without agreeing with their faith, politics or lifestyle. It is possible to be more tolerant of people precisely because one is “dogmatic”.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

As I get older, I have to watch my sugar, my salt and my cholesterol means that I can feel ill if I eat the wrong things. This becomes a metaphor for actions that are pleasurable at the time and have negative consequences later. It also shifts my focus to the world of ideas and of music.In this sense, I have derived benefit and enjoyment from the health problems that come with age.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

For every time that I have been hurt or insulted, a time comes when I can treat others better in the same situation, with roles reversed. It turns life into a dialogue with the past, and to use my own memories to make the world a better place

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don’t tread on me

Israel don't tread on me

No Political Correctness

No PC

Search

A child draws a picture in Theresienstadt

A child draws a picture in Theresienstadt

The drawing of a child in Theresienstadt "model" concentration camp.

Archives

Wittgenstein-stamp

Wittgenstein-stamp

“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

nanny state

nanny state

Globe Tribune.Info

Globe Tribune.Info

Carl_von_Ossietzky

Carl_von_Ossietzky

We cannot appeal to the conscience of the world when our own conscience is asleep.... Carl von Ossietzky

Leopold Trepper

Leopold Trepper

Leopold Trepper, who spied for the USSR as part of the Red Orchestra spy group and cost Nazi Germany countless casualties

Contact Us

We can be reached by email at "thewinterriders@gmail.com.

IsraelHolocaustStamp

Israel Shoah stamp

true 7

true 7