about my previous post

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Dear friends, a few weeks ago I published a post, only to pull it off the net a few hours later. I had given it an ironic name, ‘the chosen people’, because this was right after a vast majority of the member states of the United Nations voted to condemn President Trump for recognizing our ancient capital as the capital of Israel. I got some comments, and some mails… that made it evident to me, that there were quite a few people who didn’t understand what I was trying to say.

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I have friends who tell me, don’t worry about how people will take what you write. Just write what’s on your mind. But that’s not what blogging is all about. It’s an interactive process, and I’ve always enjoyed the conversations as much as the writing of posts. There was one comment that I just couldn’t publish here in my little home on the internet. It wasn’t even aimed at me. But it was vile. Since then it has really been hard for me to write.

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I had planned to write about the concept of sanctity in my next post. I sat down to write about the subject this morning… and just couldn’t write. And since I do have some friends here, people with whom I feel there is understanding and conversation, and I miss you… I thought I’d let you know what’s going on in my mind. I’ve chosen some of the pictures I planned to attach to that post here. Shimon

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64 responses to “about my previous post

  1. Oh, Shimon, it is so dispiriting when our words become disfigured as they travel from our heart to another’s. Somehow what we meant shape-shifts on the journey and is interpreted as a message we didn’t intend…people bring themselves, all their experiences, secrets, shadows, moods, fragility, and desires to our words, and, especially when we can’t see or don’t know them, communication can so easily go awry…so, we apologize, and start again, which you have humbly and beautifully done, Shimon.

    I am sorry that any response was below the level of kindness; that is the way these days. More people seem to lack basic understanding of civility and manners, and, again, I think that not knowing/seeing/hearing the person to whom we’re speaking contributes to this dehumanizing of each other.

    I do so hope this won’t deter your impulse to share your words or stunning photography. I remember the comments when you returned to blogging, how deeply happy so many of us were that you were once again offering your wisdom, questions, art, passion, and humor to our hearts and spirits. It was apparent that we benefited, felt blessed, and, on some level, were fed by your efforts, your words and photographs. Please, continue.

    Gentle peace.

    • Dear Kitty, it is so good to hear from you. Reason enough to keep writing. You know, in English one says a person is thin skinned when he’s easily hurt by others. I remember that expression these days, because now, in my old age, if I knock into a piece of furniture, or my cat accidentally scratches my legs as she jumps from my lap to the table to see what I’m doing, I see my skin open immediately, and my blood leak out from the wound… and I say to myself in wonder… wow, I’ve become thin skinned. And it’s true on a number of levels… I guess it’s part of nature’s way. Sometimes, when I’m feeling good, I can tell myself that whatever it is, it’ll heal in a while. Right now, at the start of the day, as I watch a flock of birds gather together on the roof of the next house over, I have that feeling, bolstered by the generous comments I’ve received here. But sometimes, it’s one thing after the other, and I just want to withdraw and listen to a Bach suite for piano. This morning, I feel a bit braver. Hoping for a very good day for all of us.

  2. Dear Shimon, I’m so sorry you have had this horrible experience. It’s awful when something you write evokes an unwarranted attack. I know this from firsthand experience. In my case the attack came from someone whom I’d thought was a friend. And though you may not feel like writing for now, please don’t let this episode silence you. In the meantime, please show us more of your photos. Perhaps you have some that have their own stories. You can show us your world as you have in earlier resonant posts. Take care!

    • It wasn’t really such a horrible experience, my dear Tish. It was just a minor collision with some people who know next to nothing about our lives here, and have some strong opinions about what they think is right for others. A fender bender. But because I have lived through and seen horrible things, the incident brought back memories, and was reinforced by the vote against us in the UN, and thinking about how others see us, I lost my faith in discourse with people of other cultures. I’m very sorry that you too have experienced such virtual abuse. I’ve spent the last week reading philosophy, and it’s improved my perspective. And I am grateful for the response of my friends. Thank you for writing. I will try to keep on going.

  3. Thinking of you. Don’t stop writing, but take some time if you need it.

  4. Shimon–I am so sorry for this. I tried to pull up that post, and wondered why I could not. I was truly afraid that it was a ‘good-bye’ post from you and I was not able to read it. That really concerned me! I am glad you are alright–but shaken about people’s comments. You are loved by many. Please don’t let the others drag you down.

    • As you know, Loisa, an old cat is less flexible than he once was. It is good to curl up on a nice comfortable pillow and forget the world… especially after being attacked. But just waking to a new morning is sometimes enough to revive one’s spirits. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Shimon, you are as we say in French “une âme sensible”. You care about people and all nephesh chayyah – keep it so. goed Shabbes

    • You are right, Yvan. And I remember myself as stronger; as I used to be when I was still in the middle of life, and then when things go wrong, I’m shocked at the reminder of my own limitations. I hope you’ll see a few more posts from me. Thanks so much for your comment.

  6. I am sorry too dear Shimon and seems that I missed that post, but please don’t stop to write. You are very special blogger friend and this is not only for me, for many of us. Don’t let them to stop you dear Shimon. Have a nice weekend, Love, nia

    • Thanks very much for your sweet comment, Nia. I’m sure you know how things can come together and sort of pile up in front of us… I thought I could write whatever was in my head, but I guess that’s too much t expect when you’re in a public place. I will try to restrain myself, and talk about things that are less popular… but still interest my friends. It was a very nice rainy weekend. My best wishes to you too, with love.

  7. I saw your post had been deleted, though I had received the notification of the title and a few words of a line.

    I was thinking of you last night and again, this morning. I knew you needed time to sort out your thoughts. Welcome back.

    You write so beautifully.

    Shabbat Shalom
    X

    • Thank you for your welcome back, Menhir… and for your Sabbath wishes. That’s what I was planning to write about; the nature of the Sabbath. And I still hope to do so. I think of you too. Especially when I hear people calling rain and wind a storm. That’s what we had this weekend, and it made me think of the weather you’ve learned to live with. That’s one of my problems, I think… that I’ve had it too good in recent years, and am not used to blowhards sticking their faces in mine. But I will try to gather my strength. You’re very kind. x

  8. First Shimon let me say how much I enjoy these photographs, especially the one of the orchid with shadow play. It is an image that speaks to my heart. I see so much within it…and could write a length about the feelings it evokes.
    It is a sad commentary that today there are those who cannot and will not accept another’s opinions. I am so sorry that you had this experience….Please keep blogging and please keep showing your beautiful photographs. Wishing you and the beautiful Nechama a lovely, gentle weekend. Janet

    • I am so glad you enjoyed the photos, Janet. For those who do communicate, there are so many ways… sometimes a curl of a tail, or the hint of a smile at the end of the lips… so much to treasure in this world. When Nechama runs into someone she doesn’t like, she adopts an attitude that even used to convince me at times… of some fierce animal, and they leave her alone. I’ll have to ask her how she does that. Thanks for your good wishes, Janet. It’s always very good to hear from you.

  9. I appreciated your post and wondered if trolls would attempt to silence you. I’m grateful to see you back. I’ve only written about Israel once, on social media, and people who usually ignore me, as in never commented on anything else I’d written, ever, reviled me for supporting Israel. It was awful. I replied that I was worry they were so full of hate. Funny, they didn’t reply. May you be blessed. The photos are amazing.

    • You know, Judy, some people have a blood type that they can only give to certain people. And others have type O blood which can donate to almost anyone. It turns out that in certain other characteristics, we see a similar mechanism. With some people, hate is reserved for those they’ve had trouble with. But it turns out that the Israelites are fun to hate for people all over the world. At times, it makes me smile. But when I’m down in my spirits, it can be painful. Sorry that you’ve suffered this too. It’s good to have the comfort of friends here. Thanks very much for your comment.

  10. I too was curious to read what you had to write about the chosen people topic, friend Shimon … and I thought it was a very smart move not to do so … My dad always said: Don’t ever talk politics nor religion nor sex if you want to have friends to carry your casket … I love you … cat.

    • The choice of the title was meant to be ironic, cat, but it seems some people didn’t really understand what I was saying. Maybe they were so full of their own thoughts and their self righteousness, that there was no room in there to hear me. I can understand why your dad gave you that advice. I too, as a father to small children, tried to suggest to them those paths that were safest. But I can tell you, that all my life I’ve always spoken what was on my mind, and usually gotten away with it. I suppose that when we expose ourselves in a public place, we have to be prepared for some rough sorts. But even so, I trust there’ll be a few friends who’ll be willing to carry my casket. with love back to you, from one cat to another.

  11. Some of us learned at a very young age, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all. Some didn’t learn that lesson. So as a man thinketh, so is he.. What’s in the heart heart will come out. Take care Shimon.. We don’t live in a kind world, but there are kind, caring and compassionate people.

    • I hear you, Mother Hen. But my start in life was a little rougher than most. I got beat up before I even opened my mouth. So no one ever bothered to give me that good advice that you mention. When I was growing up, it was claws and fists and anything you can find that’ll keep you alive. And since then, there’ve been a lot of good years, so I guess I’ve grown soft. Though really, it’s probably just age that’s weakened me. I’m grateful for the kind, caring and compassionate people. They do give me comfort.

      • Hi Shimon, I hope that you continue to use your voice and not let anyone or anything discourage you from doing so. Some of us went to the school of hard knocks.. lol and we’ve learned from those experiences.. Stay well Shimon…

  12. Please keep writing and sharing your heart, Shimon. You and I are quite different…different cultures, ages, sexes, religions…could we be more different? But none of those differences matter to me when you write. Your words make me think hard about things that are outside my normal realm…and that is where our differences connect, I suppose. You will not always be understood, nor will I. I don’t always agree with everything you write. How could I with the worlds between us? But I want to hear your words and think about your perspective and world that is so different from my own. I hope you will keep sharing ❤

    • Yes, it’s true Kari, about all of those differences. and I suppose that all we have in common is the same wonder at life itself, and the desire to make it as beautiful as we can… and that seems enough to bridge the gap. Thank you so much for being here to strengthen me. And thanks for that beautiful red heart.

  13. So sorry this happened. I always enjoy your posts and have always found them thoughtful, totally fair-minded, and most interesting.

    • Thank you very much, Anne. I appreciate your saying so. I’ll try to be a little more careful about what I say in public, and to wear boots when I’m in snake country. It is good to get support from my friends.

  14. Honored friend, I am heartened to hear from you again. You give me a valued perspective that I wouldn’t have without you. I must have been one of the few who was able to read the previous post, but the comments were closed when I tried to respond. I have been praying for you. May God’s shalom prevail over your despondency!

    • Yes, there’s a good post on its way, that’ll help us forget the painful incident. You know Ruth, shalom, aside from it’s meaning of peace, and hello and goodbye in our language, also comes from the root shalem, which means complete. And it seems to me that when we find completion within ourselves and in relation to the world around us, we are best protected from untoward incidents. I thank you for your blessing.

  15. I noticed the post had gone too. Keep writing.

  16. I used to tell my children that if they ever heard me swear they would be free to do the same. I bit my tongue a lot over the years. Now it’s nicely calloused. I’m sure, as boys do, that they swore among their peers, but never in my presence, then or now.

    Now I find myself bearing down once more. I don’t want to litter your site with the choice words I have in mind for that foul excrescence who upset you so much that you withdrew your post.

    I’m not so much angry that some feral excuse for a human being wrote something unpleasant to you. That’s the point of free speech. He’s allowed. But if it doesn’t allow for honest debate, you don’t have to take it. I’m upset, Shimon, that you you let him to intimidate you into withdrawing your post. It’s your blog. You are its creator, it’s writer and its editor. You therefore call the shots. Please do reinstate that post and block the nasty son of an unfortunate mother from entering your site again. And please – I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting it, I’d like to read that piece about Sanctity.

    Last but not least, Shimon. I’ve always believed that an Institution is only as good as the people in it. The UN’s charter may be to promote and protect human rights, but many of the member states of the United Nations are composed of hypocrites whose countries perpetrate human rights violations on its own people. You can in all good conscience ignore them.

    • That was a great story about what you told your kids. I’m trying to imagine how your voice sounds with that callused tongue and all. And I wish I had felt like cussing out those fellows who thought they knew all the answers… because it would have been easier to get past it… and better than the despair I felt that there’s no way to really communicate with someone who’s made up his mind and then put it on hold. But these comments from friends have pulled me back up. And my next post will examine sanctity. Hope you enjoy it, Mary.

  17. Shimon, I have always enjoyed what you write and show. What can we do about these ancient hatreds? I am a foolish old woman, but I continue to hope that they will die, and that each word of kindness or love, each note of hope and joy, each painting of truth and beauty will accumulate like raindrops and one day gather into a sea of change, washing the hatreds away. But as I said, I am old and foolish.

    • Oh, my dear yearstricken; you have no idea how I miss you. And what a pleasure seeing your beautiful face on my page again. And yes, we are both old and foolish. And like yourself, I continue to hope… if only because it’s more pleasant than to contemplate the alternative. But you know, those ancients… they’ve learned how to take anything and everything and keep on going. The ancients are the hardest. Sometimes it seems that the only way is to ignore them and try to outlive them… as long as we can. So glad you came by. I’m still hoping for more of your foolishness in words. yours,

  18. This is only a little “test,” Shimon. My comments aren’t showing up on many blogs — let me try this before leaving a more substantial comment.

    • A quick answer, Linda. In my case, at least it seems that your test worked well. And it was just because I was away from the computer for a day, that I couldn’t let you know earlier. Your comments are always very much appreciated.

  19. Shimon, I also am so sorry that someone’s words have now blocked yours. But I can understand that as a good person, you soul is wounded. We become so vulnerable when we put our work out into the world. But we must not be silenced. Someone here has suggested sharing your photography for now, I agree; for me that serves as good salve for the heart and soul. I especially like your last photo in this post, a still life of realistic beauty…and shadows.

    • So glad you enjoyed that photo, Angeline. Oh, when there’s real communication, how sweet it is. And unfortunately, when we have the bad luck to bump into someone who’s filled with hate, anything we might offer, could be seen as a provocation. In this case, the fault was all my own. I wasn’t strong enough, at that particular moment, to deal with hostility. But today is a brand new day. And I hope that what I have to offer will only attract friends. Thanks for your comment.

  20. What a horrible experience this has been for you, Shimon. For that, I am truly sorry. You did not – and do not – deserve such vicious responses. Living in the States, as I do, I am familiar with extreme political polarization and its ugly effects in the lack of exchange of ideas – it’s strictly one-way with the extremists. Evidently, you ran into your own extreme (and negative) element of your reader base. They lack compassion, simple good manners and the ability to examine an opinion different from theirs. Their opinions should, perhaps, be considered, as all debates should encompass, but, at the end of the day, you are a stellar human being with a mind and writing talent that awes me. Please do not stop writing because a few miscreants had a tantrum. The vast majority of us who receive your blogs – and are blessed to do so – deserve to read what is on Shimon’s mind. WE are the ones who matter. As always, in my opinion. ‘Right on’ and write on, my friend.

    • Oh, it wasn’t so horrible, MzMyra. I’ve seen much worse. It’s just that it caught me on a bad day… and I was weak. With age, the skin gets thin. A little scratch can bring blood. Don’t have the patience anymore, or the determination to withstand attacks. But having my friends here to get me back on my feet is a great blessing. What you say is true… it’s our party, and best to ignore the haters. Another post will soon be on its way. Thank you for your kind words.

  21. I had a similar experience – and a similar reaction. I have not posted in many months and a comment from a reader is one of the reasons. Neither right or wrong – it is.
    That said, I err on the side of hypocrisy here, for I love your posts, enjoy the dialogue between you and your readers and urge you to continue. On balance Shimon, those who are fortunate enough to follow your blog receive them enthusiastically and tenderly. We would miss you if you chose to stop. I hope you find that spark again. Love, mimi

    • I’m very sorry to hear that you had a similar experience, Mimi. We live in a strange world… and I suppose we have to get reminded, every now and then, of just how strange it is. Fortunately, in this virtual world, they can’t really shoot or stab or blow us up. And all of that still happens in the real world. Here in the middle east we see just how brutal and twisted governments can get in mistreating their own people, and then watch them point the finger at us and accuse us of ‘crimes against humanity’. I do hope that you get back to writing soon. Your site is a lighthouse at the shore and dedicated to the positive. it amazes me that anyone could be that insensitive. Let us celebrate this precious life, and withstand evil.

      • Thank you for your understanding and compassionate response, Shimon – far more than I deserved. You are right of course – the virtual world of our posts cannot do the harm that we see everyday. Our governments leave me in fear and disbelief and pain – far greater than any I can describe here. I want to focus on the positive, though my gratitude seems selfish for it is really seen within my small little world. To speak of only that seems disingenuous. We’ll see – I certainly am deeply touched and appreciative of your thoughts…

  22. While you are correct about blogging being an interactive process, what those with closed minds have done is to censor what you write and what we, your readers, read. I don’t think that’s right. You know that’s not right.

    Here’s hoping that we will have much more of your writing and photography to enjoy, whether we agree with you or not.

    • You’re absolutely right, Corina. And your saying it like that helps me recover my perspective. How could I possibly let these self righteous bumpkins get between myself and my friends?! Yes, I’ll get back to writing. Thanks.

  23. I don’t know what to say except I’m sorry that this happened to you.

  24. You are wise, Shimon … but trust your instincts with knowledge that you can’t please everyone.

    • I appreciate your words of truth, Frank. We can’t… any of us… please them all. But try, just for a moment, to see the world from my point of view. There are stories out there… I don’t know what you’ve heard or what you’ve read. But I’ll tell you just what I’ve seen, what’s happened in my lifetime. I won’t ask for any special consideration because Jerusalem was Jewish 2000 and 3000 years ago. We hear reports of the abuse of Palestinians in the conquered territories. Before the British left our country, both Jews and Arabs were called Palestinians. The UN drew up a plan dividing the country and giving each side a state of their own. The Jews accepted the plan. The Arabs did not. They attacked us in superior numbers, and with the backing of 20 countries. Where they were able to hold on to territory, they killed all the Jews they were able to capture, and the rest escaped with their lives, leaving everything they owned behind. From 1948 to 1967 there were no Jews allowed in the conquered territories under the Arab rule. Not one. Where the Jews ruled, Arabs were able to live in peace and enjoy all the advantages of our democracy. The UN had nothing to say about the murder and eviction of all the Jews from their territory. Nineteen years later, when we had the next war, the Arabs had promised to drive us all into the sea. But they lost. When we returned to the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem, we found it totally destroyed. We found public toilets made of the gravestones of our parents and grandparents. But we did not take revenge. We honored their houses of prayer. We offered them peace. They refused. They would continue to fight us in every way they could. And the day before I got those comments on my blog, and the hate filled mails, 128 countries in the UN voted against the recognition of Jerusalem as our capital. And all of that is just a small bit of what we have seen with our own eyes.

  25. I read you article earlier and just finished read your response to Frank. I’m saddened. Yes, It has been a long hard struggle for Jews.
    So sorry about the comment you received, Mr. Shimon. There are many unkind people out there. But, you have so many readers and friends here, who want to support and appreciate your writing.

    • Thank you, Amy, for reading the post, and also my comment to Frank. Maybe I should have written my comment to Frank as a separate post. But it is very problematic. So much has been said and written about Jewish suffering, and about the holocaust, that it has become a tiresome subject. Because of that, I don’t like to write about it myself. In fact, I avoid books or movies on the subject. I’ve had more than enough of the pain, and want to look for more positive subjects to think about. That’s the same way I feel about the Palestinian war on the Jews. The Palestinians have suffered a lot too, but most of their suffering has been caused by their own primitive leadership, and the fact that most of the Palestinians are still trying to perpetuate a feudalistic society. In the past 20 years (and I can trace this back still further) the Palestinians have had some success in representing their fight against Israel as a revolution against colonialism. From my point of view, this is not at all true, though they have found some political backing in this attempt among Jews as well. There is so much room for argument and discussion about Arab claims, that I usually avoid the subject. But there are times (when I hear the story very misrepresented) that I can’t restrain myself any more, and tell what I’ve seen, even though it’s a painful subject for myself as well. Thank you for your comment.

      • Thank you for replying and sharing your thoughts with us. The subject is a difficult to express… suffering is real and has been a long history.

  26. I just read your comment on my blog and wondered why I haven’t heard from your blog….I thought, maybe you’d took a bit of time out….seems I’ve missed a lot! Haven’t read your posts properly, only the first one, after, it seems you deleted one. I’ll catch up, but just wanted to say, you will ALWAYS have a friend in me!!! Speak out and never delete! Ever!!!
    Every time my computer updates I stop getting email notifications of posts, it’s drives me stark raving crackers! I’ve re-followed. I will enjoy catching up, my friend.xxx

    • Yes Dina, I’ve had similar problems staying in touch with blogs. They also change the system from time to time, And since we’re not blogging on the same platform, I never get a notice if you’ve answered a comment of mine. Sometimes I do check, but not always. But what really matters is that we’re friends. I was just writing somewhere else, that I have a lot of criticisms of this digital age, and that one could get the wrong impression that I don’t care for it much. But I do. There are so many miracles around us. And having a virtual friend amazes me over and again. So despite the criticisms, I’m grateful.

  27. I had a similar experience and it knocked my balance. I am glad to see that you are still writing and sharing, as your posts bring a joyful and fresh voice into my days. Hugs for you dear Shimon. Xx

    • Thank you so much for your hugs, Jane. And I’m hugging you back. I suppose there’s a learning process involved; learning how to deal with people from other cultures, who take other things for granted than I do. I’m still learning. For a long time I avoided any subject that could cause misunderstandings. And now, coming back, I’ve tried to be a little less informal, and so was reminded of the problems. But for the most part, the experience is very good. Best wishes, xxx

  28. I’ve been thinking about this post since it appeared. It’s easy enough to say, “Post as you please, regardless of response,” but it’s also true that withdrawal isn’t necessarily a sign of cowardice or fear.

    My own blogging venture nearly was derailed by a particularly nasty online commenter. I found a way to break through it, and may re-post this piece at the beginning of this year’s Lenten season. I suppose the connection I see between your experience and mine has to do, once again, with choosing which voices we listen to. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the voices of many around the world who love you and your words dearly.

    • I appreciate your coming back, and writing this, Linda. I did follow your link, and read ‘Blogging, Bon Jovi and Lent’ and all the very interesting comments. I found it very interesting. But actually, my problem was a little different from the one you describe. I got a number of comments to that post that I felt I couldn’t publish. Not one of them was an attack on me personally. There were comments from people I know and those I don’t know. Of the ones I know, I am sure they had no evil intentions, and yet, because they were relating to things they don’t know, and claiming as fact what was not true, I had a problem with allowing those words to be published in my corner of the virtual world. This was further aggravated by my desire not to be didactic. My desire is for free discussion. I don’t want to have the last voice in determining what is true or not true. And even censoring their words and making them disappear seemed contrary to what I’m trying to do here. I knew they were lovely innocent people, but they were talking about something they didn’t understand. There was one person who was either someone I know or has the same name, and he said something vile about someone else, who is no relative of mine, but I didn’t want to ‘sponsor’ such a remark. And there was someone I didn’t know who also made a remark that I found very distasteful. We often speak of the many things that bind all human beings together, but sometimes the differences between cultures can be immeasurable. If I had been writing in an old time newspaper, I could have thrown the comments I didn’t care for in the trash and keep writing. But because I love the give and take of this media, I didn’t know how to deal with it, and pulled the post off the web. Thanks.

      • Ah. This makes your conundrum more understandable to me. I’m chuckling, now. In my own way, I was responding to something I didn’t fully understand! I appreciate your response, and I think your solution was just right.

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