Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Contrasts

A comment by Leah Friedman on this post really got me to thinking the past couple days. I was reminiscing about a missed opportunity for love, and she had this to say:

What a nice story, like two ships passing.
I'm not old enough to have many "what if's" just one and G_d made the decision for me. He was killed in the 2007 war with Lebanon.


Leah has had more than her share of trouble in this ol' world. She is now nineteen. Her health problems still plague her - her last brush with death left her virtually speechless and paralyzed. One of her best friends (a member of the IDF) is recovering from having her spleen removed. Leah lives in Israel and has to deal with all that entails these days. Just being a Jew in Israel is like having a bullseye painted on your back 24/7. She is still fighting for her pet causes, like Eretz Israel, which does not endear herself to those who look at her as a target.

And yet, she endures. So young but so strong. Would I be as strong as her at that age? Hell, I'm not even sure I'm that stout even now. Is life sweeter on the continual edge of death and sorrow? I can tell you my life has been altered since putting a foot in the grave. With ten to fourteen hour days a staple these days, I find I don't have the energy on weekends to live it up much. But, I certainly appreciate what G_d has allowed me to do.

But, it is contrasts like this that really set me back. Here I am talking about a possible lost love. I didn't have suicide bombers trying to take me out in that dusty old warehouse years ago. The love of my life was not killed by enemies of my country. Here I am bitching about putting in long hours and not having enough "me" time. However, I don't have rockets from across the border aimed and shot at me on a regular basis. I don't live in a country besieged on all sides by actively hostile enemies. Well, maybe Canada, but there you go.

So, upon reflection, I have to say: Thank you, G_d, for allowing me this time on your planet in such a wealthy and safe place to live. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to know people from far flung lands, plus other fine individuals in this privileged country. Thank you for the close friends I have made over the years, and the opportunities to interact with them in a positive manner. Thank you for allowing me to rediscover prayer. I enjoy talking to you every day. I've got to work on seeing you every Sunday, I know. So, given a second chance, I want to continue to grow, pray for my friends, and enjoy every day that I am allowed. Please keep me from being too egocentric and selfish, for that is not what you want from me.

And G_d, please look after my friends. Particularly those you have put in harm's way.

3 comments:

Earl said...

As different from our politicians, when God puts you in harms way - He stands right with you, and that is all the difference. Go gently...

ietli

in each the love is

RT said...

Like I said in my post last week: learning perspective.

I thank God quite often for my blessings and the gentle trials He's brought my way, especially in comparison to what others endure.

I also thank him for that hot shower I take and the country, while flawed, that he allows me to inhabit.

Leah Friedman said...

G_d bless you Jeffro for this great post.
I moved to Israel because I hoped to make a positive contribution to the renaissance of the Jewish people, and to Israel.
To a Jew Israel is pure nourishment, like bread and water for the body and soul.

I have no regrets. Even living with a reinforced metal door, walls and rubber seals on the windows, I can not imagine living any place else.
Eretz Yisrael, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, the one tiny sliver of land on the planet, where I can fully express my Jewishness.
A country where Jewish soldiers protect its citizens with pride. My very own Jewish country where Jewish holidays are national holidays. Where simply being Jewish is not a crime.

G_d has truly blessed me with all of the wonderful people I have met on line.