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IF I forget thee, O Jerusalem
Cat : Religion
Date : 2006-09-01 10:28:09                      Reader : 312
It should not be under Israel control, particularly Arabic Jerusalem. The West is accusing Muslims of their adherence to their religion, meanwhile Israel is the cause. Israel tries to give its state a religious criteria, then who is to be blamed. Israel creation pushed the region into religious dispute,and perhaps religious wars as Bush reads the Bible daily in his own way !!
UPI 1/9/2006
IF I forget thee, O Jerusalem
Commentary: Interesting Times
By Lynne Bundesen
ReligionAndSpirituality.com 
 
SANTA FE, September 1 (UPI) — Memory and identity are married in art, music, literature, Holy Scripture, politics and war. How is a divorce possible?
    
To rip memory from human life is to lead into wilderness paths where what was once is never or is repeated endlessly with no end of the trail in sight. Memory is identity and identity is a distinctly Scriptural concept in Hebrew and Christian and Islamic tradition. We hear that the endless war in Israel and Lebanon is over physical territory but it may not be wrong to suggest that the conflict is over memory.
    
For thousands of years the words of Psalm 137: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem" — echo in prayer and in memory.
    
The words are also the title of a William Faulkner book, an exhibit in Tel Aviv by architect Moshe Safdie, an achingly gorgeous poem by Yehuda Amichai, a call to home for all those in exile. The remaining words of that call to remembrance — "let my right hand forget her cunning," are rendered in the Tanakh, "let my right hand wither." (Jewish Publication Society 5748/1988)
    
The 2,000-year-old dream of a return from the wilderness of diaspora, a return to the place where the wandering that characterizes human existence will end, has become a nightmare. Remembering what we should forget, and forgetting what we should remember, conflicts rage on — fed by endless self-justification. Memory has forgotten that loss is gain. Identity is mired in hopeless self-righteousness. The right hand is withered.
    
Imagination has retreated to the darkest caves of thought.
    
Imaging the end of Jerusalem as a personal political province, loosing the City of Dreams to impartial, international control, it is possible to see that loss can be gain. This suggests not a sacrifice, but a liberation for all peoples. Jerusalem could once again be the sacred site that is its true identity.
    
Of course, the danger in this loosing could be Jerusalem as a Disneyland theme park of religions. In the world of commercialization of faith there are some who see this as not far removed from the present condition. Wisdom can prevail. Identity can be restored.
    
Yehuda Amichai's poem carries these words:
    
If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem
    Let my right be forgotten, and my left remember.
    Let my left remember, and your right close
    And your mouth open near the gate.
    I shall remember Jerusalem
    And forget the forest — my love will remember
    
This forest allusion to Lebanon is prophetic. "Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest," says the prophet, Isaiah (29:17).
    
According to Strong's Concordance to the Bible, the word Lebanon appears 71 times in the King James Version of the Bible and is from the root word meaning "heart" — the most interior organ. Sometimes the word refers to Lebanon as "white mountain" and is geographic. But while memory and identity fight in and on the mountains, our heart breaks.
    
What would it cost to forget the dismal past and find our identities with one, unified heart?

 
 
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