Alan Flashman

A Dark Week

Shabbat will bring a welcome respite from a week of progressing darkness.

A citizen who tries to think about what he reads but is constantly finding out that what he read yesterday is no longer true today – is in the dark.

A citizen who thought an opposition part (parties) were opposition and awakens to find them signing on to the coalition they were elected to oppose – is in the dark.

A citizen who thought that corruption was in some way collected around the PM and awakens to find extortion blackmail and rot everywhere — is in the dark.

A citizen who wishes to follow some public health logic about a supposedly dangerous plague but finds out that no decisions were made mainly about public health – is in the dark.

A citizen who thought the justice system could reign in rampant corruption and the learns that the justice system is part of the same corruption – is in the dark.

A citizen who thought that another round of elections scared the PM only to find that the PM is manipulating the courts to “force” these elections – is in the dark.

A citizen who thought some media would provide some information with a half-life of more than two days only to learn that the media is dominated by politicians and ratings, with truth a scarce and unpopular commodity -is in the dark.

A citizen who thought that at least the Holocaust was one area of consensus free from political manipulation and then sees the PM using it for his self-aggrandizement – is in the dark.

I have been in Israel 36 years. This darkness or that darkness has been part of my daily experience as a citizen from the time I awoke from Aliya naiveté, decades ago. But I cannot recall a week when everything became dark all together.

Mystics might say it is a time of “sorting out” (BERUR), in the end some things will become clearer. That is one approach to darkness. As one inclined more to making decisions and taking responsibility, that wisdom does not lift the darkness.

Time for a rest; next week does not promise very much light.

About the Author
Alan Flashman was born in Foxborough, MA, and gained his BA from Columbia, MD from NYU, Pediatrics, Adult and Child Psychiatry specialties at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Bronx, NY. He has practiced in Beer Sheba since 1983, and taught mental health at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University. Alan has edited readers on Therapeutic Communication with Children (2002) and Adolescents (2005) in Hebrew, translated Buber's I and Thou anew into Hebrew, and authored Losing It, an autobiography, and From Protection to Passover. He recently published two summary works of his clinical experience (both 2022) Family Therapies for the 21st Century and Mental Health in Pediatrics.