Monday, November 11, 2013


It was 1985 or so. My best highschool friend Aidrian was getting more and more involved with th struggle in South Africa. He was at Wits (the University of the Witwatersrand). A state of emergency was looming in the wings. I was in Israel, studying in a fundamentalist yeshiva but trying to find a way out. (out of yeshiva , not  out of Israel,to which I very much wanted to belong... I wanted to go to the army in Israel so as to become both a man and an Israeli). I was going through old papers while trying to write an essay on differentiation of self and found this (and I've altered a line or two to improve the metricality):

"Althoough somehow we find that life pulls us apart
I once knew a little the beat  of your heart
Iknow it beats strongly, and ingrained in you
is the need to go straight, the need to be true

you are planted amongst people who are strangers to me
but this communal soil will nurture a strong tree
as long as you know there is right on your side
the enemy can't harm you, they will be defied

you have turned from preoccupation with one's own little space
and feel at one with those fighting for their rightful place
with this I can't argue; one must leave self absorption behind
the question is really with which group will one bind?

as for me, I must look to before I was born
and join with the group I feel I came from
I can't find another way, and using what I have in me
this seems to be the most open path, so I make no apology

whatever you do in your world in your fight
I hope it will reach us and bring us some light
whatever we do in our world in our fight
I hope it will reach you and bring you some light"

and at the end of the letter:

"P.P.S I know that its highly unlikely that you'll ever bump into my folks, but just in case you do, please don't mention anything about my intentions to go to the army in Israel "

No comments: