A Dream About My Father

Last night, I had a painful nightmare.  My Dad was having convulsions, pain in his chest and stomach, and I was helpless, unable to help him.  He was dying of what seemed like a heart attack, and I was paralyzed with fear.

The image has haunted me all day.

My Dad passed away four and a half years ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, but never this way.  I remember his kindness, his love for life, his good sense of humor, his treating every human being with respect.

I think the nightmare must have emanated from the subconscious but deep frustration I’ve experienced this last week with encountering so much pain, fear and ignorance, all transformed into hatred and anger, from vocal minorities that do not recognize the imperative of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by recognizing the humanity and rights of both sides.

I think the helplessness in the dream was a metaphor for the deep feeling of disappointment that I shared with all my team and all our volunteers for the setbacks in showing the voices of moderation on both sides, as we had intended

The fear I sensed is probably the fear of not being able to carry out our ultimate vision of bringing peace to the region, a mission I set for myself to do what I can so that others will not have to suffer the way my Father did in the Holocaust, which to me translates as the imperative of resolving the conflict so that the Israeli and Palestinian people will both have a future of freedom, security, dignity, and respect, not to mention to build prosperity and progress and light for the world.

What my Dad had to go through, I don’t want anyone again to go through.  I know I can’t help in all the areas where people ARE going through this (like Darfour!), but at least I want to make what little contribution I can to help the Israeli and Palestinian people.  And yet the utter dehumanization and self-righteousness that has overtaken some small but vocal segments of the population makes this an even harder task.

I don’t want to give up, as much as it is tempting to just say, "I’ve had enough." 

But too much is at stake.

I don’t want to be overtaken with anger and hatred myself, as increasingly hard as it is.  I need to resist the impulses, to try to understand, and to channel frustrations to constructive action.

I don’t want to disappoint the memory of my Father, as much as I fear doing so.

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  1. Fruma Sarah said:

    Tevye also conjured up nightmares in order to cover for his mistakes.


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