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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

All of our Souls are Bound Together

It's not that we're oblivious to the news - oh no, far from it. If you've been listening to us on the radio you've heard our ongoing narration - through voice and music - of the beyond-tragic events that are going on in this world, both here in Israel and far away in Japan.

Everybody knows by know about the murders in Itamar - the Fogel family were laid to rest on Monday with what seemed like half of Israel in attendance. The anguish of our people over this brutal crime in which 3 children (including a 3 month-old baby girl) and their parents were butchered in their sleep this past Friday night by Arab Terrorists (the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has "claimed responsibility," may they all spend eternity nostril-deep in molten pits of burning excrement) is palpable everywhere you go. The surviving three Fogel children are now "everybody's orphans" - the Israeli public is reaching out to them in touching ways including grocery store magnate Rami Levy who has hand-delivered groceries to the Shiva house every day and has pledged to continue to do so "until the youngest orphan reaches 18."

It's a well-known fact that tragedy brings us together and brings out the best in our people. It's a SAD fact that sometimes (ok, more often than not) it takes tragedy to make us remember that we're a family, and that all of our souls are bound up together in one big bundle, and that bundle is held in the Hand of our Creator.

All the more true with Japan - and why you may ask is an image of Iris petals being used to illustrate this point?  Well, here comes the eerie part ... from a dream Lorelai had 25 years ago.

"25 years ago (when I was pregnant with Cameron and living at the beach in Oxnard) I had a dream about a horrible disaster in Japan involving fire and water, I saw all the souls of those who lost their lives floating like purple Iris flower-petals across the Pacific Ocean while I watched from (what felt like) a boat far away on the horizon. The purple Iris flower-petals that were the souls of everyone who had just died floated right THROUGH me, I felt their souls pass through me and pass on (continuing) to the other side ... the souls felt SURPRISED to suddenly be released from their bodies, as if it had happened very suddenly, and I felt an ineffable sadness that was so extraordinarily powerful... Such a vivid dream, never forgotten. So now in light of what is happening and still MAY happen in Japan I'm worried. I think this was a prophetic dream and there's a reason it stayed with me for all these years. I'm afraid there's going to be one HELL of an explosion in Japan very soon. Let's pray that dream was just a result of pregnancy hormones and an overactive imagination."

Japan, as everybody now knows, has been devastated by the biggest earthquake in recorded history followed by a tsunami and now followed by explosions at a nuclear power plant, which is currently spewing radiation into the air and may completely melt down within days. Millions of Japanese have been without electricity, food or water for almost a week now. Only this morning a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit the region again, and the foreboding feeling is that this story is not over. The suffering of the Japanese people is indeed floating through the atmosphere like millions of Iris petals - and the death toll at this point far exceeds 10,000. No one knows how or when this will end, or G*d forbid how much worse it might get.

The human family is one and all of our souls are bound up together whether we want to agree on that point or not. Just because you don't want something to be true doesn't mean it isn't. A friend expressed his inability to care about what is happening in Japan because of what happened in Itamar - and the reply he received went like this:

"Compassion is like love. There's always enough to go around. When I was pregnant with my second child I was secretly worried because I couldn't imagine how I could love anyone as much as I loved my oldest son. When I gave birth to my daughter my fears were immediately quelled as I realize I didn't have to DIVIDE my love, that my love had MULTIPLIED instead - and that I had more than enough of it to give to two - and eventually four - children. Compassion is the same as love. It's not a pie with only so many slices. When your heart and soul connect to the suffering of others it arouses empathy, which multiplies."

So ... no. We're not completely oblivious to the events of the past days - it's just that it's been too intense emotionally to write about it here until now. The suffering of the Jewish people, the Israeli population, the surviving Fogel children and their extended family isn't being weighed against the suffering of the Japanese nation, as if one kind of pain is more worthy of compassion than another. True, the disgusting murders of the Fogel family was a man-made disaster, born of incomprehensible hatred, blood-lust and betrayal of the most basic of human values, and the Japanese disaster is what we call a "natural" disaster, in that no mere human pushed a button or pulled a trigger. The Fogel family murders give us someone to blame, whereas the ongoing destruction and devastation in Japan isn't providing a place for us to point a finger - unless we point that finger UP, to the Source of all things.

So where does that leave us?  It leaves us right here, alone together on a big planet getting smaller by the minute, where the pain and suffering of the few or the many surrounds us daily. The antidote? "Maasim Tovim" - good deeds (such as what Rami Levy is doing for the Fogel family), prayer (which is what countless millions world-wide are doing) and, what we can do right here on Radio Free Nachlaot, an ongoing musical narration of our emotional journey as we continue, putting one foot in front of the other because we HAVE to. We can't give up, and G*d forbid we can't give IN either - to despair, to hatred, to small-mindedness, to complacency, to isolationism, to the false belief that we're not all ONE in this world together - and not only in this world, but in the world from which our souls came before they were within these bodies, one together in the world to which our souls will continue onwards towards when they leave these bodies. 

As U2 sings: Yes, we're One - but we're not the same, we've got to carry each other, carry each other...
and as CSNY answer .... Carry on, love is coming, love is coming for us all....