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Comments at April 2010

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Charlie Ranalli on April 24, 2010

Maybe your idea of “proximity warnings” is not that far off…

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Haim Ac. on May 1, 2010

Dear Martin,

One strong characteristic of your writing is that you have a natural ability to ignite emotions. I felt that in several of your past articles; it particularly happens when you talk about your Judaism. Clearly, this issue is close to your hearth, and it is reflected in the text

I just read you article Idea utópica: traigamos de vuelta a los judíos a España for the 3rd time. With mixed emotions, you succeed to bring me to tears: I understand that you proposed a gedanken-experiment, trying to emphasize the contrast between Spaniards and Jews. But even as imaginary as this proposal is, it is so far from the Jewish Soul and the spirit of the foundations of the State of Israel that I felt terribly saddened about the all idea. The tears appeared when I thought about those that believed in similar proposal and ended in the Auschwitz crematorium anyway

In some aspects, my life started very similar to your, Martin. Businesswise, I was not that successful. However, we both searched for new horizons, which by the way, this is also the Jewish way. But even with all my traveling and sometimes living for years in other countries, my sight is always toward Tzion. It is only there where I feel at home, where I belong. I do not know exactly what it is. I like the language, the being Israeli, the neighborhoods, the falafel stand, the chaotic roads, and the beautiful sightseeing when you travel anywhere. I even like Jerusalem on Saturdays, it gave me an excuse to drive away of this frozen city, and return after Shabbat, when it resuscitate again. I love the peace of Fridays around 5:00PM, when everybody slows down, goes home, buy flowers for home, and get ready for the Shabbat dinner, even if you are not religious, and plan to visit your friends, or go to the movies afterward.

In the past, we (Jews) lived within societies that accepted us, where we had a great relationship with the authorities and fellow citizens. We felt so good, that some even renounced to their Jewish identity. We also lived in the past in societies that heated us. In response, we either stayed apart, in closed communities, or supported the harassments and participated in the life of these hostiles societies. Either way, we where terrorized, assassinated and forced to leave those places, or dye. This applies to Toledo, Seville, Warsaw or Berlin. Even those that renounced to their Judaism were persecuted and eventually killed.

Your theoretical proposal is motivated by your desire to bring a solution to Spain…To Spain? What about us? Is this a solution for the Jews?

Our past history is Israel, to all the Jewish streams. Spain was home for hundred of years for some Jews, but not for all. By the way, it was suggested in the early years of the Zionist movement to create a Jewish state in a less conflictive land. But it was rejected: our bond is with the land of Israel.
We’ll deal with Iran, Irak, and even the Palestinian terrorism. We’ll find a way to bring peace to Israel and we hope that our neighbors find a way to bring peace for themselves. I believe their problem is within themselves, Israel is just an excuse.

I can not speak for everybody but for myself. I am a Jew, and I am an Israeli since I emigrated in the 80’. For me both things come together now, as a package. Even though I wouldn’t mind spend 10 vacation days in Torremolinos, or enjoy walking in Madrid, I wouldn’t think for a moment to leave my life and raise my kids in Spain. My life, my family and my believes are not an experiment, are my reality, and I choose the Israeli reality. The reasons might be very difficult to understand by non-Jewish people, some of whom would be now tagging me as xenophobe, but that is not the case. My reasons are a mix of sentiments, traditions, identification with my people history and a sense of responsibility to carry all of this to the next generations. It was done by my ancestors, for hundred of years: Who am I to break this chain?

And finally, why I wouldn’t live in Spain? Did you ever think that you might be the last Varsavsky Jew in Spain? Your descendants will carry your last name, maybe, but will they carry your Judaism? It might not be an issue for you. But for most of the Jews, it is a big issue, from generation to generation.



PS. I do not have twitter or facebook account and could not post in the Spanish site. Neither I was interested in the hot debates usually found there. Within your English site, this is a valid off topic comment. I apologize for taking advantage of it. I just wanted to send my thoughts to you.

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