(Guernica) Comfort in the Past
In a part of the world where religion had become a defining element of ongoing conflict, there may be even greater reason to cling — consciously or subconsciously — to a distant past.It’s clear that to these last members of the Egyptian Jewish community that Jewish heritage is immensely important. But amid shrinking numbers and increasing assimilation, their ability to evoke this heritage has withered to a few tangible remnants: the people, the Torah, the food. Ultimately, it isn’t religion at all to which this small remaining cluster of Jews is clinging; it’s to each other.
In a part of the world where religion had become a defining element of ongoing conflict, there may be even greater reason to cling—consciously or subconsciously—to a distant past, to the common identity found in traditions and in ceremony. Yet here, the substance of the religions themselves buried any political identities they bequeath. We had come to the synagogue expecting to find a religious fervor hidden amid a thriving and often hostile Muslim environment. Instead we found little more than a cluster of the elderly, the last of a dying breed—too old and too tired to make any real attempt at a Jewish revival.
...God bless Mubarak; God bless Israel; God bless the Palestinians. Insha’allah, there will be peace.Sounds like a lot of Jews outside of Egypt. Is it because the rest of the world is getting like Egypt? How many of us still think we can bless the Palestinians for Peace? How many of us are still clinging to Mubarak and the past? These Egyptian Jews sound a lot like the Jews who voted for Obama.