03 February 2004

Bedtime Nightmare

I don’t have any little relatives to tell bedtime stories to, but there is a bedtime story that I would tell them that has become a nightmare.

Bedtime Nightmare

Shira A. Drissman

Feb. 3, 2004

This story starts a long, long time ago, in a far away country. Imagine this country as a beautiful place, somewhere you would spend your vacation. A place full of palm trees, and beaches, and of course a never-ending sea, stretching as far as the eye can see.

The natives were a friendly bunch of people. They had everyday sort of jobs. Some were teachers, doctors, carpenters, bricklayers, business owners and some were religious leaders. These natives were happy being natives, living in their land, living their everyday lives.

Then one day, the happy natives found themselves under attack by a country from beyond the sea. The next thing the natives knew was that their holy temple which they worshipped at was destroyed and burned to the ground. Along with the temple, a million of their fellow tribesmen were massacred with their blood flowing knee high in the streets. It was a sorry time for the natives.

The natives found themselves taken to far-away places. Places they had never imagined existed. They served as slaves across the world. One would have thought that over time the pain of being separated from their land would have dulled and become non-existant. But this was not to be. The pain grew stronger in every generation. The unhappy tribe even created a prayer book to pray from three times a day to remember their special land and temple.

At first, the tribespeople were segregated and oppressed. There were even wholesale massacres. Millions of these natives would be murdered and no one would stop the slaughter. But the natives persevered, and were thankful to their god. Over the many years, the natives became members of the societies they lived in across the world, but never fully trusted. People would do business with them with a smiling face, but at home spoke about how they were cheated.

The natives didn’t like this situation. They just wanted to be accepted and be left alone. They realized that it was time to go home. So many of them put their possessions in their bags and bought a boat ticket to their promised land. They left with the visions they last saw; the palm trees, the beaches, and the never ending sea.

Finally after months, and even years of traveling, they landed and were quite disappointed. There was nothing left. No grass, no trees, no flowers, nothing there to remind them of what they had left behind. They traveled for days looking for anything they might recognize. After days and days of traveling northward, the natives saw something in the distance. Could it be? They moved faster now. Yes, it was some of their fellow tribesmen. After speaking to their kindred spirits, the natives were told that there were many more of them who were able to survive the horrible times of the past.

The natives were excited. They were home. They decided to rebuild better than before. To rebuild so that they wouldn’t have to wander the world ever again. To trust themselves and not have to depend on the world’s mercy. At first these natives depended only themselves for the building projects. However after a while, a new tribe from across the mountain range on the east came over and began helping them. This new tribe asked nothing in return, they were happy to have jobs in this new land.

The natives were happy with their progress. They now had homes, and even a new government. They even offered this new tribe citizenship in their new government. The new tribe accepted such a generous offer since they had only been there to help so recently.

But soon, something strange happened. This new tribe from across the eastern mountain range began to spread lies. To the natives surprise the new tribe started telling their brothers and cousins that the natives land was their own!

The scariest part of the story was that the brothers and cousins believed the new tribes story. The natives didn’t know what to do. The brothers and cousins started threatening the natives. “It’s time for you to move out!” they said.

This nightmare story has no ending. But is this really just a “story”? The natives are the Jews and the new tribe are the Arabs. We have yet to see a happy ending to this story and we won’t until the lies stop.

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