Sunday, August 09, 2009

Understanding Asim

As an active member of, I've had many interesting debates about a whole host of interesting subjects. The one I've found most challenging has been the Israeli-Arab political debate, one that tends to pit myself and other Israeli and/or Jewish posters against mostly British Muslims. One of these Muslims I've befriended is Asim, and as our 'relationship' has developed, so has our interest in each other's faith and 'take on the story'. One thing that always stood out to me was when Asim would bemoan the constant negative press showered on Islam. The positive stories were constantly missed, or sadly ignored.

Why am I bringing this up now? Ever since the Gaza War, I've become more active in debates with 'Progressive Zionists.' While they often highlight very troubling issues within Israeli society that need to be addressed, I find their need to only focus on the negative issues within our country very frustrating to deal with, especially when they admit to thriving "off chronicling the bad judgment of some of my fellow Jews." In Ethics of our Fathers 2:5, Hillel is quoted as saying, "Do not judge your fellow until you come to his place". I guess I can now finally understand, and relate to, what Asim was complaining about all this time.


A few tid bits from the reserve stint so far:

* I think the Palestinians have taken the lead over the Israelis in the 'World's Worst Drivers' sweepstakes. In the few days I've been with patrols, we've almost witnessed 10+ accidents due to horrific overtaking attempts. Thankfully, not one accident so far ...

* The one guy that really impresses me every time I see him for a reserve call up is a 64 year old. Yes, you read that right. While reservists 'retire' at age 42 (the current retirement age has now dropped to 40) from active reserve duty, this man has volunteered for the past 22 years (& counting) since his 'retirement'! To think a man who serves in my battalion was born in 1945, or fought during the Six Day War and Yom Kippur War, is just crazy. I don't even know what to call it ...

* It really isn't easy to leave your family behind for such a long time. I still look at Miluim as a privilege, but I still struggle with the idea that until I'm 40, I'll spend 30+ days a year away from my family. I guess that's the reality I've chosen -


My great uncle, Uncle Arthur, passed away today ... May his dear soul rest in peace ...


No comments: