It's hit me. I'm back in galut a full week now, and a couple of days ago, the mourning period began. Once again, I'm grieving.
For someone as plugged in as I am to the virtual world, it's probably not surprising that so many of the things that pierce through me come in emails from friends in Israel. I know it's not deliberate. They're just reporting on their lives. This one is spending Shabbat in a city I in which would love to experience Shabbat. That one just made aliyah and is writing from her mirpeset, overlooking Yerushalayim. This one is back home, in Israel, after a business trip to the US. That one's daughter just got engaged to a yeshiva student. This one just went to the NBN Bloggers' Convention in Jerusalem. That one is moving into her new home. This one is celebrating an aliyah anniversary. That one just went out to dinner with this one. It's just life, happening in Israel.
The tears I didn't cry leaving Israel this time have bubbled up to the surface. I'm missing Israel, and missing my friends who see the world as I see it. In Israel, I desire metaphysical things - to feel God, to bring geula with rachamim, to see Moshiach, to be able to live where Jewish history happens.
Back here a week, I am overwhelmed with the vacuousness of materialism, which seems to attack me from all directions. There is no end to wanting. Today, I bought a platter decorated with cherries. It was 40% off. I was in some kind of fog when I bought it. "Oh, that's cute. And I can afford it!" echoed inside my head, but my brain was disengaged. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it now that I have it, but this materialism is SO seductive.
I desire to be less judgmental, but I don't know what to do with the feelings I have about religious Jews who are just oblivious. A friend gave me a copy of Pastor John Hagee's Jerusalem Countdown. The Jesus-talk aside, he sounds a lot like the Jewish voices that warn that Islamic Fundamentalism and Iran's increasing nuclear capabilities will bring us to the war of Gog and Magog. How does a Christian minister get it at the same time that so many, many religious Jews in America don't see what is right before their eyes?
The world is hurtling toward geula, and it could be, Gd-forbid, a brutal journey. The world is fundamentally different than it was just 7 years ago, but people act like it's business as usual; like there is all the time in the world.
If I speak my mind here in galut, people tell me to lighten up, that people need to live their lives. That it's not possible to sustain such intense focus on these issues. Or that I'm overreacting. How I love hearing that one.
I am woefully misplaced.