Our Children Are The Guarantors

Defending Zionism from its detractors. Anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. Let the other side apologize for a change.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

(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:

ZY:
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.

One thing is still bugging me very hard: on May 10, 2007, Angel posted a post named, “I Give Up”, which a lot of readers took very seriously, me among them. I wrote:

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.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have your covered USA legal protection for religion vis-a-vis Muslim assertion of religious privilege, i.e., how far will Muslims be allowed to go in what some take to be "dimmification" of the USA or wil the Supremes protect us from this? You are one of my top three blogs.

May 28, 2007 12:21 AM  
Blogger Bar Kochba said...

As long as Israel is ruled by a bunch of Judais-hating secularist elites, we have no chance for change. My vote for PM is Moshe Feiglin, of the Manhigut Yehudit wing of the Likud. His website is jewishisrael.org

Visit my blog if you can. I'll link to you if you link to me.

May 28, 2007 12:31 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Anon,

Huh? That topic was never inside my sphere of knowledge. I deal with ideological generalities, not with practical particulars. Unless I'm missing your point...

Again, I'm sorry for backing out, but I'm just stuck recycling my words all over again. This is my comment for the post of December 10, 2006: "[...] I also see some of my words are repeating themselves across posts, so from time to time I find it a good idea to change the format until I have some newer verbal ideas. [...]" If I find any new ideas to commit to writing then I'll post them, but in the meantime it looks like visuals are all the respite from the repetition I can get.

Bar Kochba,

I'm skeptical of how much can be achieved through the standard process of electioneering. I'm more heartened by the underground process of slow but sure replacement of the decaying system, for example by the fact that more and more Israeli Jews are turning to rabbinical courts of their own accord, just to get away from the politically-correct system of injustice. By the time the Messiah arrives, all the infrastructure will already be in place.

Thanks, cool blog!

May 28, 2007 12:35 AM  
Blogger 1389 said...

If you are wondering where the next Churchill is, that might be your task. You never know...

May 28, 2007 3:34 AM  
Anonymous ptah said...

ZY, I understand your frustration and the sense of "vain repetition". However, here are my concerns:

1. Blogger is designed as a diary, not an archive of intellectual resources. I have no idea of the settings for your blog, but if its based on displaying the last 15 days worth of posting, not the last 15 posts, this and other posts will eventually disappear. It will look as if you have nothing to say, when in fact you wrote some profound stuff.

2. Another concern about blogger: at some point in time, I expect them to start deleting inactive blogs to save space. Then your stuff will be gone. That's bad.

3. Your frustration is in writing the 95% that's framing to get to writing the 5% that's new. To me, that's 95% of the time you write, and I sense that you feel you're wasting your time. And you know what? You're RIGHT.

4. A concern: your intent was to publish a standard set of arguments against anti-zionist arguments. You succeeded. Your insight is not different from The Preacher, who noted that there is nothing new under the sun. Don't refight the old battles, but concentrate on the new stuff. Your problem is FRAMING: being sure to set the new stuff in the framwork of the old to show how it's the same old anti-jew prejudice, in new clothes.

A suggestion: abstraction using links. When writing research papers, people use references. Berners-Lee, the man who developed the HTTP and HTML protocols that underlie the World Wide Web, originally constructed it as a means of publishing research findings, so designed the links to "enliven" references so that people could click on the reference and see the reference paper for themselves. You've done a little of that by carefully categorizing each post. When you find a truly unique twist to a lie or diversion, explain the details in the post, but dispose of the rest of the paper by saying "I discuss this tactic here." The new post you write becomes the canonical refutation of the new twist, and you categorize it appropriately. Voila, you save time, and can concentrate on the new stuff.

What you need to do to keep the intention of this site alive is to keep a standard top post whose date you update to ensure that it stays alive and at the top, which gives the purpose of the site and directs the users to the category links. Add other posts under it as you need to: The changing date on the top post lets everyone know the site is still alive. Title it something like "Introduction to this Blog" and let it act like the standard index page of a regular website, with links to the categories. People will get used to the idea that the first post is to be skipped and move on to the second post for new stuff. In fact, the previous link is a prime example of giving a reference to explain something, in place of explaining it in detail.

I have half a suspicion that your felt need to write 95% frame and 5% content might come from stylized argumentation methods used by a specific rabbinical school of learning. How much of that is based on adapting the essential message and lesson to the limitations of media that existed prior to the WWW? I see a lot of discussion justifying no longer literally carrying out Levitical commandments on the basis that the societal context which required the commandment evaporated. Methods of argument are definitly eternal, but the presentation should change with the times...

May 28, 2007 4:01 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

ZY:
First, thanks for the hat tip...
Second, Don't Stop!
The best way around writer's block is to continue to write.

My advice: Don't worry about framing your arguments. Just write short posts, and get straight to the point in each one.

You'll find that it's a very blog-friendly style, and that it can help to sharpen your ideas, by forcing you to decide exactly what point to make.

And every now and then, you'll have something big to say.

Good luck.

May 28, 2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement, all of you.

In addition to (or probably intertwined with) the problem of not being able to avoid repetition, my regular reading of the anti-Zionist websites has taken its toll in my feeling of frustration. There are some diaries and articles I read and end up with that "I just wanna break something" state of mind. Fortunately the Torah is more than sufficient to calm me down, but I think I need to vent with a series of well-placed visuals.

It's not that great a departure from the spirit of my blog--raising the spirits of our side. There are many ways to emulate Aaron's and Hur's act of supporting Moses' hands.

Don't worry, HaShem is helping, and things will be OK. The pace of updates and the length of each post won't be the same for the time being, but making the blog inactive is out of the question for as far as my physical and mental faculties go. I'm not going to make the blog a newsfeed or news roundup blog, because it just isn't my style, but increasing the connection to the daily run of news is good advice and I'm going to take that.

HaShem bless you all.
ZY

May 28, 2007 6:46 PM  
Anonymous ptah said...

I have to say that I suffer from the same feelings, ZY, about "breaking stuff" after reading the latest vomitings passed off as "thought". I too find comfort in going aside to listen to God, either via the word or by the movings of his Spirit. In a sense, these are resources that we have that they do not: they have to blow off by posting the stuff that torques us off. Our resources are better: There is an actual God, who actually helps those dedicated to following him, while their "God" is a helpless phanstasm, unable to change them, much less help himsefl.

May 28, 2007 7:13 PM  

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