Ariel Edery
Olah since 2006

Say Anything

Remember the late ’80s and early ’90s? I was a teenager during those fun-filled years of throwback ’50s skirts and shoes, and eventually to rag-tag mini-skirts, rubber bracelets, and lace…lots of lace…. It was also the time of great Rom-com movies, and movies like Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, The Outsiders, Dirty Dancing…and Say Anything.

Say Anything (1989), starting John Cusack and Ione Skye, was a film directed by Cameron Crowe about love lost and gained. It was the kind of film that you watched in the theater with your best friends and rented it from Blockbuster Video so many times that the checkout girl said, “Maybe you should purchase it already…it’s on sale there, on the shelf!” But I just kept going back again, and again… renting it from any video shop that had it. I wanted to see it and remember every word.

The movie itself is about Lloyd (John Cusack) exploring his need to be honest, true, and frank about his lack of ambition. Yet, there is one thing that Lloyd has a desire to achieve…to win the love of Diane (Ione). The movie follows the true reality of these teens exploring who they are, and where they are going. It is a real, slice-of-life depiction of teenage feelings, and their truth.

Eventually, the young couple explore love, and then separation. The best scene is of Lloyd (John Cusack) standing across from Diane’s (Iona Skye) house playing a love serenade of “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel on his 1980’s big black boom box.

Love I get so lost sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are

I reach out from the inside…

In your eyes….The light, the heat (in your eyes)I am complete (in your eyes)I see the doorway (in your eyes)To a thousand churches (in your eyes)The resolution (in your eyes)Of all the fruitless searches (in your eyes)  Source: Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”(1986, Album: So)

This is the most romantic scene of the movie. Pure love, raw and true. Every woman wanted her boyfriend to serenade her from the outside of her home JUST LIKE THIS in 1989.

The couple eventually reunites. Roger Ebert, a known movie critic, wrote that a movie like this works because “its maker believes in the young characters, and in doing the right thing. “(Ebert, Roger, Say Anything, Review, 17.2.2002). And, Ebert is so right.

Isn’t it our essence, as human beings to project our TRUTH. Our loves, our desires, our passion, our beliefs, our self-doubt, and our self-growth to those around us? It is the nature of a man or woman to be truthful to themselves and others. The very first story in the Bible is that of Adam and Eve. It is a tale of Eve hiding behind the truth of taking the forbidden fruit and lying about it…. leading to consequences that still exist to this day.

No, we are no longer in the Garden of Eden anymore. The recent attacks by Hamas make this beautiful, idyllic country feel more like Hell on Earth. The barrage of news reels of the terrorist acts of brutality, is more than our simple human minds can comprehend. And yet, Hamas shared those images with the world. That is their truth. Pure evil. That is their reality.

And, yet, as a resident of Israel, we are still surviving. We are sending our kids to the warfront. We are taking care of the needs of our own families back home. We are helping with food drives, taking care of the elderly, baking for soldiers, and more. We are living the TRUTH that the Nation of Israel Lives! (עם ישראל חי).

So, as I was walking my dog at the crack of dawn…I had an epiphany…a Say Anything moment. Usually, I hear the call to prayer of our Arab neighbors blasted on the intercom. I listen to my music and tune it out. But, this time, I blasted the Prayer for the Israeli Soldier on my cellphone on the loudest volume possible. It is a beautiful version of the prayer that Bibi Netanyahu recorded with Ohad Moskowitz prior to the Rosh Hashana holiday.

I played this beautiful version of the song, on full blast, for my neighbors, and our neighboring towns to hear. Who cared if it was 6:00AM! I wanted THIS to be the first thing that people heard in the morning. Our prayer for our soldiers, our land, our hopes, our dreams, and our truth.

As I blasted it throughout the neighborhood, I turned a corner and realized that the men had just finished their early morning prayers and were leaving the synagogue. And, there was me, my dog, and the Tefilah L’Chayalim/ The prayer for our IDF soldiers. Men were walking down the steps, and joined in, singing along with the song. No, they were not singing…. they were affirming our right to stand tall, and fight for our small nation of Israel.

This was my Say Anything moment….sharing the prayer for our combat and non-combat troops out there, protecting the true reality that our Nation of Israel has a right to exist.

Thank you, Cameron Crowe, John Cusack and Iona Skye…you taught me to Say Anything, and also to say everything!


Here are the words of the Prayer for Soldiers:

He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. May He bless the fighters of the IDF, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God, from the border of Lebanon to the desert of Egypt and from the borders of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on land, in the air and on the sea.

May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holdy One, Blessed be He, peserver and rescue our fighters from every trouble and distress an from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.

May He lead our enemies under our soldier’s sway and May He grant them the salvation and crown them with victory. And May there be fulfillment for them of the verse” For it is the Lord your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.

About the Author
Ariel Edery is a mother (and mother-in-law) of three IDF soldiers, a trained Clinical MSW, an English and Diplomacy teacher at Amit Hallel Rehovot, and the author of Gila Makes Aliyah, Menorah/Koren Publishers.
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