Friday, October 23, 2009
Today was a day of ironic fears that all coincided within a few minutes of time. A friend from the US was visiting and as we were driving through the breathtaking Gush Hills to Gavna (an amazing and beautiful restaurant), I was relaying to my friend the whole scary episode on the way back from the Eitam. It was quickly apparent that I was way more afraid of Arabs than she was. In fact she gave me a whole new perspective. I have to think of this land as MY HOME. Period. The Arabs are visiting in it. I need to do away with the Galut mentality that espouses apologetics and cowering before them. I need not live like a trespasser afraid of getting caught by the owner. I AM the owner. My intention here is not to be political. You need not agree with her point to appreciate how ironic it is that I, the “settler,” albeit for only two months, am far more fearful of Arabs and far less comfortable in disputed areas then my American friend. Oh – and she not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. She has done and continues to do amazing things within and for Israel that I haven’t the stomach for yet. She was coaching me on how to perceive the settlements, the Arabs, and the State of Israel and not the other way around. In the middle of this conversation my new cleaner called to say that she was petrified because my dog had fallen asleep on the stairs and she was afraid to go down them in order to finish cleaning the house. Now, anyone that knows Hero, my labradoodle, knows that he is more like a child in a dress up suit then a formidable Canine. He is large, but totally (even a little bit too much) harmless. In fact, we were once robbed in Australia. Hero (a bit of a misnomer so far) did absolutely nothing. It wasn’t long before my friend took the phone and counseled this poor, young girl, telling her that she has known our dog for years and that he really is a tinok – a baby. A rather large one. This girl who was cleaning for me has grown up in the Shdachim (settlements). Scary Arabs have been a reality for her for probably most, if not all, of her life. How ironic; she could probably look any Arab in the eye without batting an eyelash – but my overgrown puppy – now that was reason for panic! A bit later we arrived at our destination. Over a delicious lunch of stuffed butternut squash with Quinoa and tofu we were discussing our lives and I found that I was prodding my fearless friend to abandon her trepidation about an issue that doesn’t even register on my fear radar. So I guess we all have our monsters to face in life. Personally, I still maintain that my monster is the scariest. Yet they are all here to serve a purpose: to strengthen our Emunah, to challenge us to grow, to learn new things, and to let the fear go.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov says:
The whole world is a very narrow bridge.
And the main thing is not to fear at all.