Okay, this is a weird one, but then again, this is a weird day. So...today's blessing is crazy people.
I told you it was weird.
I don't want to go into all the details, but every once in a while, I come across a person whose values are so messed up, whose priorities are in the wrong place. A few weeks ago, a woman came to argue with me about something. She was doing something that was, according to the city of Jerusalem, illegal. And she was doing it near my office. When I complained, seeing that I was religious, she told me that I was wrong and that her cause was the first commandment in the Torah...um, it's not.
Today, a man, doing the same thing, screamed at me to watch out for the Yemenites. Okay....personally, I like the Yemenites - well, at least the one's I've met - I haven't actually met any current-day Yemenites from Yemen but I have nothing but respect for the vast majority of Yemenites I've met - except for this one...he was just bizarre.
A while back, a woman on the train station across from my stop started screaming that everyone was jealous of her because she was beautiful (um....she really wasn't...I mean, maybe at one point she was...but that was long ago and in a far off place). I was so happy that she was screaming in English so that the men around me hopefully didn't understand what she was saying. It was just embarrassing!
All this came to mind because two of our guests over the holidays are mental health professionals and it made me remember the time I worked for a psychiatrist many years ago. At one point, one of his clients walked in and said, "We are very angry at you."
Okay..."they" had some serious problems...she really did.
I walked into the doctor's office, told him what the patient had said, and told him, "you have some really crazy patients."
To which he responded, "thank God."
Yes - thank you, God, for everyone - even the crazies that enrich our lives and more, help us remember how lucky we are to be blessed with the lives we have, to those things that we prioritize.
In many ways, much of the world is crazy - crazy with hatred, crazy with misguided notions of what they think God wants from them. Someone took a shot at Jews standing in Baltimore near an Orthodox synagogue - by the grace of God, while the building was damaged, no one was hurt. Crazies...
Abbas stood at the UN and accused Israel of genocide (and, as a Lebanese woman recently said, if that was true, we are the most inept genocidal killers in the history of man)...crazy. And, of course, Israel's left-wing Labor Party Chairman, Isaac Herzog, was quick to say we still prefer to deal with Abbas...yup, certifiable.
The trick, I think, is just to accept what you know, where your world is, and allow others to do as they will. I've said many times that I'd rather live in a land that is in mourning for the loss of three precious teenagers than live in a land that celebrates their deaths. I'd rather live in a land that released 1,000 killers for one innocent young man; than live in a land that welcomes those killers back as heroes. And yes, to some extent, the insistence of the Palestinians to celebrate the calamities of Israel makes them just a bit...off...just a bit...crazy.
When I started this, I didn't think I'd get around to blessing my enemies - near and far, but maybe there is something to this. Your enemies help you clarify so much. I don't want to celebrate death - even the deaths of my enemies. I don't want to celebrate the murders of innocents - even the innocent of my enemies. That is beyond what is normal to my world...just on the other side of crazy.
So today's blessing is crazy people...and yes, to some extent, I'll say that includes our dear neighbors...may God keep them far away from us.