Monday, January 21, 2008

My reply to: Rabbi without a cause: Poland's Jewish Cultural Festival

Rabbi without a cause: Poland's Jewish Cultural Festival

People do horrible things under the pressure of fear of dying, under the fear of displacement, fear fear fear... Even the seeming most evil people do things on automatic pilot without much thought like fleeing death at their heels through a hotel, hall to hall to stair to hall to room to room. Slaloming this way and that hurtling forward through events knocking others this way and that in a cascade failure.

No one pebble thinks it is the avalanche and no one drop of rain thinks it makes the flood. It just happens that way.

There's a lot of people dead now, gone and there's a lot of living people who didn't do those things of decades past. People who were just children when the Nazis were removed from the world. I don't hold the sons or daughters of those who wrong me to account for the sins of their parents and won't now.

I get the feeling there's plenty of Poles today whose ancestry two or three generations back, maybe more, was Jewish and under the fear of ostracism from the greater whole of Polish society or pogroms and death , whatever drives people to throw away their religion, and maybe we should leave the door open to people healing, some returning.

If we don't have the capacity to forgive, we don't have the capacity to heal. We don't heal, then the evil wins. And we take up the mantle of those who wronged us, and we wrong ourselves and generations undreamt of.

I see sheepish half-hearted attempts at making pain go away, pain people don't know what to do with. The sons and daughters of those who wrong me aren't their parents and I won't hold to blaming them for what someone else did. Nor will I keep on the argument that wasn't and the fight that didn't. It was never the point, not for the parents, not for the grandchildren, not for anyone.

Evil is more in the absence of us and between us in the empty places we define by where we're not for our fears and anger. I won't let that be.

That ain't stopped others though the the war that isn't keeps on going. It's time to steal the thunder from the darkness and let it lay. Let those who didn't cause it and would gladly die to make the past different cry out their sorrows on our shoulders and clap hands to their backs and get ourselves back together with our neighbors. It's long past time to close the gap where evil lives and give it no place at all.

I've wronged others myself and in the moment didn't know what I was doing and for the lack of sense of it after when I finally knew, I've hurt. Hurt as bad as any I've hurt. That's the price of doing wrong by others. When your conscience is awake and you know, you will hurt. The Germans, the Poles, they're hurting. Many many many of them are hurting over a pain they didn't inflict on people who aren't alive to scream out and can't make it get out of their heads.

We feel free to represent and speak for the dead every other time and issue, but when it comes to forgiving, never.

That needs to change. People not born, not responsible partaking adults when the crimes happened need to be forgiven by we who weren't born, not responsible partaking adults either. We need to stop hurting. All of us. We're holding people responsible who weren't for the deaths of those they never met, knew or could have.

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