Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dream come true

This was going to be turned into some vague sort of poem, but nothing poetic was really happening in my brain, despite the plethora of bus rides which usually serve as the best forum for creativity, plus my relatives (not to mention any names) have a habit of mocking my poetry, so I'm going to be terribly dull and actually say things out in prose. It may still become a poem some day, depending on how long this silly strike keeps going and thus how bored I shall end up becoming. Also, extra disclaimer, reading this back, I don't think it worked at all. But there is a point hidden there in the pomposity which I kind of like, although I don't think it came through at all. Anyhoo, enough with the typically long introduction, here goes:

Israel has problems. Really quite a lot of them. And not just the big exciting 'look, everybody wants to kill us' problems, not that those aren't fun too, but also all of those standard little typical problems, like corruption, and social rifts, and a weird little semi-socialism thing going, and a judicial system that makes me want to pull my hair out, and more beaurocracy than should be capable of fitting in one itty-bitty country, and all sorts of other wacky fun.

She's also got a shortage of good answers. To all those fun little problems and all of those big exciting ones, like how to not get destroyed or blown up or nuked or out of control.

And this all tends to depress people. Most particularly people who come all tra-la-la starry-eyed Zionist. I had a bit of a head-start in the cynical, unidealistic thing, but even so, it's a bit daunting. But here's the thing.

It's been all very well and fun to have a dream going for a couple thousand years, all about how cool it's going to be when you get back to Israel and/or have autonomy. And you get to build yourself awfully pretty visions of the utopia that it's all going to be. And in the dream, it can be. Because in the dream, everybody's sweet and friendly and wants to join hands and do folk dances between the fields of grain, unless the dreamer is more religious, in which case the dancing will be strictly seperate and with a nice mechitza. In dreams, there isn't real dirt or real stairs and nobody needs to figure out how exactly you're going to clean up after the party. In dreams, things just work out and everybody goes home a winner.

And the best part of the whole dream sequence when it concerns Israel is that even if those practical problems started forcing themselves on your attention- 'but how will we fit everyone?' 'what about a balance of power?' 'can you have a theocracy without getting all evil?'- you can foist them all off onto Mashiach. It'll be different then. The rules won't apply. People really will be warm fuzzy blankets of niceness. Monarchy works when you have a G-d-guaranteed benevolent monarch. We won't have to have an economy when bounty will drip off all the trees. And so on.

Well, and maybe it will be like that at some point. I've never really been clear on what's going to happen and when thing and tend towards the 'we'll find out when it happens, won't we?' But it's not like that now.

I know that there are some people who are holding out for the dream- who won't accept the reality because face it, it's a really long way from perfect. But I have to say, and maybe it's just me, I kind of prefer the model in which G-d says, "Okay, people, here's a chunk of land. Go figure things out,' to the one in which a savior comes galloping in on his white donkey to save the day. Kind of like the idea that the country is just bumbling along in its blessedly silly and confused little way, trying to figure things out and perhaps not always doing the best job in the world. Kind of like that there are problems, because that's what you get when dreams come true. We could have an ideal country, but only so long as we stay asleep, waiting for someone else to give it to us.

And illusions are nice and fun and so forth. But I think that I'm kind of fond of disillusionment.


Richard said...

really now, a donkey?

Mike said...

Tobie you've had a 20 year head-start on the cynical unidealistic thing

Tobie said...

Richard- so they say...

Mike- *blushes modestly*