A Title of Your Choice

Growing up, my mother often referred to me not as a “doom-sayer” but rather a “gloom-sayer”. She said that I saw the cup half-empty rather than half-filled. Did it make a difference? No matter what one called it the liquid in the cup was still the same… half or full.

Growing up with negativism obviously affected my senses of positivism. The only time I look into the mirror is when I am shaving. Otherwise I don’t like the reflection that I would see.

It is true that I am sometimes critical of individuals, ideas, politics, nations and mannerisms to which I may object. That is one of the freedoms of being a human being. A freedom which I use very often.

We don’t have to love everyone or everything but neither do we have to hate. Emotions are feelings of our choice at any particular moment. Often fleeting.

While I may hate the government of Iran, as one example, I do not hate the Iranian people. As Jews, we have an ancient relationship with Iranians (then called Persians). We were liberated from Babylonian captivity by the tolerant rulers of Persia, Darius and Cyrus.

In today’s State of Israel while I disagree with prime minister Netanyahu as an individual rather than only as a leader, I do not hate him. The same cannot be said of his domineering wife whom I have never met but have long despised.

And today my criticism, positive or negative, is addressed to the elected leaders of our Knesset. Bibi’s Sara has contacted the wife of Knesset Member Rafi Peretz requesting her to influence her husband to deny any position in government to former Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, now seeking to lead the New Right party in the forthcoming elections. Sara simply hates Shaked. Political fears and jealousy.

The prime minister’s wife has no right to publicly interfere with choices in political issues. She may be Bibi’s wife, cook and major political advisor, but she has no formal elected role (praise be to Allah) in determining who can or cannot lead any political party of one’s choice. That is the role of the people.

It behooves the leaders of our Knesset to tell Sara to keep her mouth shut and to refrain from publicly interfering with matters that are not hers.

Probably Bibi uses her as his shield so that he cannot be blamed for words not his, but words spoken by the one who controls every aspect of his life.

I know a family similar to Sara in many ways. Moroccan born and educated she inherited the negative tradition of many Arabs… smiling at your face while cursing you when you cannot hear her.

But she and her husband have been happily married for twenty-five years. If he has no complaints, why should I? But I do because it offends my sense of fairness and kindness.

Despite the above remarks, there is absolutely no hatred, God forbid. Only negativism on some things said and done. Otherwise, when I do agree with her she is and can be a lovely and charming still-young lady.

I have been thinking back to many years ago when my son was studying medicine and surgery in a foreign country, I deprived myself from buying clothing or shoes for four years in order to have the money available to him.

During every one of the four years that he was studying abroad I traveled to visit him, to bring him kosher goodies, and to enjoy with him the great cities of culture and recreation in that beautiful lush country.

We enjoyed our togetherness and I cannot recall any negativism… only positivism and 100% support. To my delight, he became an excellent doctor in the past thirty-one years, loved and highly respected by his many hundreds of patients.

I have disagreements… justified ones… concerning his emotional support (or lack of it) for his children. He closes his eyes to things he doesn’t want to see but, like Bibi’s Sara, his wife should also close her mouth and be more supportive of ideas which may not be their own personal best preference.

Each individual has the God-given right to express opinions but expressing them should never be a cause for hurting or humiliating another individual.

We are all created “b’tzelem Elokim”, in God’s own image.

There must, therefore, be some godliness within our hearts and souls. Compassion for and understanding of others.

I used to call my late beloved wife Rahel “ Swieta Ruchish,” my sainted Rahel (in Polish) because in the 56 years of our marriage I cannot remember an unkind word she had ever spoken nor an unkind act which she ever did. She walked with God and followed His ways.

She had great respect and tolerance, two aspects wherein I am frequently and regrettably lacking. She was superior to me in every way !

Meanwhile I wait patiently to see who will be the first member of our Knesset to publicly criticize Bibi’s Sara for putting her nose (mouth) where it has no right to be.

A convicted “criminal” dining on expensive catered meals has robbed the public. The public must respond.

As for me, I’m still not looking in the mirror. Negative or Positive? I’m afraid to look.

The title of this untitled article is the choice which belongs only to you. “U’bachartem bam”. Choose wisely and well.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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