(Personal) My “Mavoy Satum” Moment
Mavoy satum is [Talmudic] Hebrew for, “dead end”. When I talk about my feeling of being at a dead end, I don’t mean I’m tired. HaShem be blessed, HaShem keeps giving me the stamina I need to write new posts. The matter is, well… matter. Writing matter, in the view of repetition, both on my side and in the enemy camp, and, relatedly, my impression that I’ve covered almost all that needs covering in the realm of ideas while reality is still stuck. And now to elaborate on the meaning of all those abstract words.
Repetition: take a look at my blog archives. I did, and I couldn’t find a single post that didn’t repeat at least one point already made at some previous post. Islamic imperialism, leftist hypocrisy, post-colonial discourse, cultural warfare, the importance of ideological confidence, the discussion of indigenous peoples, the necessity of defending Zionism using G-d’s Word—all these points surface in one of the earlier posts, and then come again and again at later ones. It’s gotten so bad that it looks to me like some of the posts are 95% restatements of previous arguments and 5% new stuff.
Writer’s block? I don’t think so. As encouragement, if it can be called that, I see the same kind of repetition on the enemy side—on the Daily Kos Israel/“Palestine” diaries and CounterPunch articles, to name two examples. There as here, new diaries and articles are long on restatement and short on new matter. You can see it in how the first months of my blog have a series of responses to Daily Kos diaries while in the later months I engage only a single comment here and a few words there from some DKos diary. It’s encouraging, in its way, because it means my feeling of being at a dead end isn’t because of some subjective change in me, it’s because this fruit has had all its juice squeezed out of it. Just the past week, I saw the phrase, “Oh, not another I/P thread!” appear on both Daily Kos and Comment Is Free (the equivalent of diaries with comments on The Guardian). It’s not even just the pro-Israel commenters who now demand some respite from the I/“P” debate (which would, in their case, be jumped upon as “deflection” by the pro-“Palestinian” commenters); now even the pro-“Palestinian” commenters, except those whose obsession with bashing Israel gives them no rest day or night, have called for a change of menu, off the diet of I/“P”. It’s because all the major points have been covered, so there’s little more to add. Repetition naturally follows. In a rare occasion, both sides have the same problem.
And there’s reality: something that was hammered home to me in an ordinary, commonplace exchange of comments I had with Michael on his blog, on the thread Fuzzy Logic in the News, from May 20, 2007. I wrote, concerning the reaction to the Kassams:
The real solution? We already know what it is: new rules of engagement based on the prescriptions of the Torah, and the application of Numbers 33:50–53. That requires an altogether new kind of leadership, a leadership of which our current one is well-nigh the antithesis. Ramp up those prayers for Ben David…
And Michael replied:
Knowing that he current gov’t will not take your advice (tho I won’t say it’s bad advice), it actually seems that the targeted assassination policy they’ve approved again is a good one. If it’s pursued aggressively, it can put a hurt on the terrorists. And it won't drag Israel into Hamas’s trap, of a long-term ground campaign in Gaza.
The most offensive thing for you to hear is usually the truth. The truth is this painful reality that, while we wakeful and right-thinking people are sitting here spinning ideas of what should be done, all good ideas (As Michael said here: “Tho I won’t say it’s bad advice…”), those with their hands on the levers are the naïve at best (George “Democracy Will Make Them Like Us” Bush and the rest) and the treasonous at worst (Ron “Iran Hates Us Because of Mossadegh” Paul and all the other apologists for Islamic terrorism). I tried to hide my frustration, but it’s now been cropping up in almost every post and comment of mine in the form of, ”Ramp up those prayers for Ben David” (i.e. for the Messiah, the Jewish, Torah-believing, world-opinion-ignoring leader who will by G-d’s authority save the nation of Israel from their enemies). Others, for example on LGF, may not put it in such a religious form, but let’s face it, those punctuated “Where is our Churchill?” questions are in essence the exact same thing.
So, I don’t want to stop writing, but I feel I’m being forced to do that, by the circumstances, just as a driver can’t drive any further once he’s up against a no-through road. I can write, but it’ll be more of the same: I can’t think of any new ideas, and neither can my adversaries on Daily Kos and the rest. As a consequence, I’m leaving my blog without updates (except sporadic things like a visual there and then), for as long as the next calling. I started the blog out of the calling to do so in the middle of the Second Lebanon War, and I have to say it’s been a very constructive and enjoyable endeavor. But now it looks to me like it’s spent, and my words about ramping up those prayers for Mashiach Ben David are the present calling: I did my part of giving a defense of Zionism in the marketplace of ideas, and now it’s time to do my part of speeding the coming of Israel’s deliverance, through an abundance of Torah and mitzvot that will please HaShem, and then He will send His salvation in a blink of the eye, amen.
Angel, I’m trying to think of your “I Give Up” as an expression of frustration and nothing more—frustration there’s hardly a day I don’t feel. But in case it isn’t just venting, I really want to say this:
The world needs more of us, not fewer. History will remember us by Winston Churchill’s phrase: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”. These are such times.
*very deep sigh* I feel so hypocritical now. The only thing I can say in defense of myself is I’m not doing this out of having given up, I’m doing it out of a need to refuel, and to make better use of myself in the meantime.
And to all who go with HaShem, supporting us out of belief in His promises:
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee; The LORD make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24–26)
PS I mentioned, both here and on LGF, my plan to make a compilation of Torah-based rules of engagement compared with the useless UN-devised ones. I haven’t forgotten about that, and it’s on my mind to do, with HaShem’s help. So there’s at least one update to look forward to.
[UPDATE, Monday, May 28, 2007] My intention never was to give up on the blog entirely; it’s just that the repetition and frustration made me plan on an extended break. But I guess, in hindsight, that was an overreaction; there are better ways of solving those problems than taking a break, and one of those way is simply to try a new posting format for some time. What a simple thought it is, yet the afflicted person is naturally short on such thoughts, so it takes suggestions from friends (the commenters below) to give him the ideas. Deepest thanks to you all! Most recent post, “…When They Love Their Children More Than They Hate Us”, looks promising. HaShem bless you.