At least for me, the “holy grail” with regard to an asana is doing it right proper in a led class. And today, it happened. As per usual, it was led primary on friday, which is something – need to get used to, but something that is great for my internal discipline, as in, not spending too much time perfecting poses at the expense of the vinyasas. And today, I did each pose, including supta kurmasana, without assistance, binding them all. I even managed to keep my hands glued to the floor in every vinyasa. It was a gold star day for me, for my discipline, for my practice in general.
Yesterday, I went to Sir’s new class at the Atmananda place. It was quiet, but not empty. Some new faces. I got assists up to Supta K, and then Sir sets his limits: he eaves the room promptly at 10:30 am. I find that a bit upsetting, especially when he’s lounging out in the lobby, chatting. What would be the big deal about a few dropbacks for someone who drove over an hour and paid over twenty bucks to park, just to practice with him? I understand the need to set limits, but this time it felt a bit arbitrary and capricious. It made me feel rebellious too – so after karna pidasana, I wrapped my ankles around my neck and took yoga nidrasana. Na na nana na.
It felt good too.
I like practicing with Sir, but it is going to be pretty unmotivating if a bit of traffic on the FDR drive is the sole difference between assisted dropbacks and me floundering around doing monkey-standups. And no, i cankt leave earlier enough to ensure my timely arrival. I have kids i have to see onto the schoolbus.
Well, we shall see how this all turns out. Meanwhile, i can never forget what an embarassment of riches i have when it comes to places to practice and teachers with whom to practice.
Yom Kippur is tonight. I anxiously await my rabbi’s speech because last week he tweaked my brain in a way that it has never been tweaked before. Apart from the summer of love stuff, which was like blah blah blah to me.
Background: i have never been interested in politics. I am not particularly interested in hearing about wars, current or past. Caveat: I do not consider the Holocaust to be within that category. What happened to the Jews back then was a barbaric, almost medieval purge. I do think that any part of wwii that was fought in the name of protecting the world from such horrendous, vicious, senseless hatred and violence was fully justified. More justified than stopping similar holocausts in third world countries? Nnnno, i say haltingly, not fully understanding the implications of what i am saying….the question ultimately being “where do you draw the line with getting involved in the business of other countries?”
Now, the rabbi spoke of our culture’s obsession with violence. And i agree with the notion that violence is far too pervasive, as entertainment, particularly. Then the rabbi spoke of war and violence, and what he said was that the vietnam war was violence without justification, but the ongoing violence commited by israeli’s for the purpose of defending israel as their homeland IS justified.
My brain just went wild with that. First of all, my impulse was to vehemently disagree with him because i feel that all violence is unjustified. Then i remembered the Holocaust and modified my thinking. Then i thought about the notion that as a Jew, i am virtually NOT ALLOWED to take a view that is not “do whatever it takes to defend israel”. But in truth, i ask myself – is it all worth it? Is it all justified? Is all violence used by israel in defending their hold on their land justified? Or is some more justifiable than others? When does a justifiable defense become a less justifiable act of aggression?
Israel was given to the jews by britain after wwii. But it’s not like jews weren’t there before that. The land is where our entire history took place. And jews were always drawn back. My own grandfather went to live there as a child for a time before it was “israel”. The palestinians were always there too. But my understanding is that they made no fuss about their claim to their holy land until britain, with its big powerful military and well-organized presence, left the land to the jews. Then hell broke loose. It strikes me as the class bully waiting until the teacher leaves the room before smacking on the seemingly defenseless smart kid. Of course, the bully doesn’t realice that the smart kid is trained in the art of self defense, is shrewdly intelligent and also has very strong friends who are willing to go to the mat for him.
So, yada yada, israel was under attack and remains so to this day. I am hardly sympathetic to suggestions that israel should capitulate because of the above history, primarily, and because also, i believe that the inch and the yard rule has proven to be the actual rule in this case. But mainly, again, i just don’t buy the whole “it was mine first” claim against israel. My understanding, as written above, is that it was NOT.
But i digress. The topic is violence by israel, justified or not, discuss. I am at a loss here because i simply do not believe that one can make such a broad statement and expect it to be right all down the line. Sometimes a use of force is necessary. But sometimes it is not. Sometimes, a third party friend has to step in to help defend the small kid. Sometimes, they need to not. Call me a bad jew if you will, but the notion that all violence by israel is justified in the name of defending zion is just not any kool aid that i plan to be drinking any time soon.
Let the slings and arrows fly.