I didn't feel so well on the Thursday during Hol HaMo'ed Sukkoth, so I didn't end up going to a barbecue at a friend's in the [re-claimed Jewish] Shimon HaTzadiq Neighborhood.
Too bad, too, because I could have prayed Tefillath Minhah from the amud, which would have been a tiqqun for the fiasco last year, when I tried to do the same. Last year, someone kept interrupting my hazarah, accusing me of "davening the wrong nusah." I stopped after negotiating all of his interruptions, and finally making it through to the end of the first berakhah. I then gestured to this guy to take over, as a walked to the back of the yard where we were praying.
Later on, I set him straight about how there is ACTUALLY more than one nusah in the universe. He realized his mistake, felt bad about it, and apologized, and ready to apologize to everyone present, until I stopped him from doing so.
I can forgive ignorance quite easily, when the offending party is willing to amend his knowledge.
But, since I did not go to the barbecue/Se'udath Hol HaMo'ed this year, I did not have the opportunity, nor merit, to pray in an area being re-claimed by its Jewish home owners, who temporarily lost access to their homes in 1948. Then, of course, after reclaiming access to a good portion of our heritage in 1967, there was still the issue of Arab squatters. That issue has turned out to be more difficult to deal with than the Jordanian, Egyptian, and Syrian armies put together.
But, I digress...
I spent that day at home instead. Yet, I wanted to get outside a bit, so I walked over to Shalom Fallafel on Betzalel Street to buy a couple of containers of the best hilbeh I've ever had, besides homemade. Unfortunately, it was closed.
On the way there, I had no choice but to pass by Jerusalem's annual Avodah Zarah Parade, known to most as the "Jerusalem March."
I had successfully blocked this annual embarrassment to Am Yisra'el, Eretz Yisrael, the Torah. I had thought about getting out of town, like to the beach. But, like I said, I wasn't feeling very well. I knew that I could not spend too much time in the area, as I knew that I incredibly upset an aggravated, and possibly even arrested.
Security was out in force, including a helicopter, courtesy of OUR TAX SHEQQELS, thank you very much, and all for the privilege of receiving a kiss from Esau's descendants.
Yeah, I know, I know... Was I just running away from the problem to put my head in the sand until it was over? I don't know about that. I believe that at this juncture, I can do more with a keyboard than with shouting and a picket sign. Time and time again, we have learned than protests do absolutely nothing in Israel to change anything,...except, of course, those protests secretly set up by the Israeli government itself.
But, yet again, I digress...
On my way to Shalom Fallafel and back another way, I was able to mention to some (in Hebrew) what this parade was all about. One of those few was a friend of mine. I [nicely] asked him why he was watching the Avodah Zarah Parade, and showing his support.
The friend he was with grabbed his arm, and tried to get him to go. Instead this friend of mine wanted to know what I meant. I explained the problems with the Parade and its participants. He didn't seem to happy with my "insulting" of "friends of Israel," so much so that he actually smacked me, albeit not very hard.
My eyes popped out of my skull. I asked him that he would strike a fellow Jew for the sake of those, whose beliefs and practices pollute the Land. That seemed to go over his head. So, I kept it plain and simple. I told him that he was not my friend, and I walked away.
Before anyway starts up about Ahduth Yisra'el (Jewish Unity) and Hava'ath Shalom bein Adam leHavero, (making peace between individuals) I will remind you that there are limits to these concepts. There are limits in Judaism.
Believing what you want about a group of people, you are being blinded by smiles and money (Read: co-dependence and bribes), doesn't make the halakhoth (Jewish Laws - and there are many of them related to this subject!) go away.