Scribe, ut possis cum voles dicere: dices cum velle debebis (Pl. Ep. 6.29)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Make Sure You're Connected

I often like to fantasize about symbols and names. For example, i'm quite sure that despite all his lies and crimes, one day many streets in Israel will be called after Ariel Sharon. Particularly Road 40, from Petach-Tikva to Kfar-Saba - it passes through Kfar-Malal, a village where Sharon was born. In nearly every city there will be a Yossi Sarid Street, a Shimon Peres Square, an Ezer Weizmann Boulevard. There are already several roads and streets called after Rechavam "Gandhi" Zeevi, the assasinated nationalist leader. I hope there will be, as soon as possible, streets that are called after the great Israeli poets and musicians who passed away in the last few years - Ehud Manor, Naomi Shemer, Uzi Hitman, Meir Ariel, Benny Amdursky, Inbal Perlmutter. In fact, i would put Manor and Shemer on Israeli banknotes - poets and musicians are so much better than politicians.

I am writing all that, because the march of the Disengagement opponents today is called by them "The Hitchabrut March". "Hitchabrut" is the opposite of "Hitnatkut", which is the Hebrew word for Disengagement. It's funny that such a simple word in Hebrew appears to be so hard to translate. It often happens with words for ideas, states of mind, principles; it's probably as hard to translate as Intifada, Nirvana or Zen. There are streets in France called after the Republic, the Commune and the Concorde - no translation would do these French concepts justice. So where would i begin? I don't know what smart-ass translated Hitnatkut as "disengagement". The proper word would be "disconnection", "dissociation", "cutting off". So the opposite of it is "(re)connection", "association", "alliance", "assembly".

I hope, no - i believe that this march today will be historical; that the Disengagement will be eventually cancelled thanks to the chain reaction it will ignite and that after it Israel will enter a new era, a historical period that will be remembered as the period of the Hitchabrut - The Reassembly, The Reconnection. The Re-engagement, if you like. Or maybe a Revision. Or Reconciliation. It will be so good and revitalizing, that streets will be called after it, just like there are streets called after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, but in this case it will be something really good and successful. I imagine "Kikar ha-Hitchabrut" - a large square somewhere in the center of Jerusalem, in the middle of which there is an obelisk adorned with orange, blue and white stripes (all this stripes business begs to be commemorated!). This march today - the courage, faith and love of the settlers' supporters, and the disgraceful conduct of the police in the process - made me optimistic.

By the way, there's one thing i'm sure of - whatever happens there won't be a Disengagement Street anywhere, not even in Gaza.

(I'm so sorry i couldn't go myself. Why am i sitting at home and blogging? I just can't risk my job, i'm too new there. There a lot of Disengagement opponents in NDS, many of them veteran employees and even they didn't go. I'm quite sure i will come when (not if) there will be a march to the Knesset.)

1 comment:

Elad said...

Actually, the meaning behind Zen and Nirvana should be easy to theory.
Nirvana means to "put out" a fire - The Fire of Desire, which is the cause of Dukkha (which is much harder to tranlsate...). Zen is simply the Japanese mis-pronounciation of the Chinese word Chan, which is the mis-pronounciation of the Sanskrit word Dhyana (Meditation).
But then again, those words pack at the same time a simple meaning and a complex concept that's maybe impossible to trully grasp, let alone live by.
The pupils of Kongzi asked him multiple times "Master, what is Humanity (Ren)?", and each time he gave a different answer: "Oh, it is simply X and that's all there is to it", "Oh, it is simply Y and that's all there is to it...". So I guess that yes, sometimes the most basic of things just defy any definition.