3. Zion Betrayed

Disclaimer: This is a journal for my class on Religious Violence. It is generally written as if it is addressing my teacher, Chuck, and is written in relation to the book Terror in the Mind of God by Mark Juergensmeyer.

So this really has no pertinent bearing on the chapter, but I’m starting with it anyway–the age of some of these people astonishes me! I mean, logically I know that most often religious violence is committed by young people–

Okay, I just had a thought and then I’ll get back to what I was saying. Is religious violence committed by young people not because older people recruit them or anything like that, but because they are ignorant (idealistic) enough to assume violence is the path they should take? Hmmm. Anywho back on track.

–but when it talked about Lerner and his colleagues bringing Amir a cake in prison for his twenty-seventh birthday, I couldn’t help but have that internal jolt of “whoa”. I just turned nineteen, which granted is eight years younger than Amir, but he turns twenty-seven in PRISON. That means that he was probably already thinking about some of his actions when he was my age. I can’t imagine having a faith so strong that I would be able to assassinate, say, the president of the United States. Pretty sure I couldn’t do it–maybe later in life, if I thought he was after my children or after I had lived a little and learned even more, but now? No way, Jose.

When I read about Baruch Goldstein’s attack at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, I tried to imagine that happening in the United States, and then having the perpetrator be lauded. It wouldn’t happen. This serves to demonstrate how large the culture gap is between people in Israel and people in the U.S.

Recently, I lost a friend of mine. He had no other family, save for his little sister Jill. As his best friend, I was legally his next of kin and when he died I became her legal guardian. She’s thirteen, sweet, shy–and Jewish. It’s been really interesting to read some of these things having an ALMOST personal tie to them. I mean, I’m reading about religious violence among Jews in this book and reading How to Raise a Jewish Teenager on the side. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that the new perspective is fascinating.

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~ by spim on October 23, 2008.

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