War turns every Israeli into an insatiable news junkie and professional political analyst and strategist. Especially if they happen to be older Mizrachi gentlemen in our nation’s many fine hummus establishments, who tend to begin every sentence with “I’ll tell you, I was in Yom Kippur, and…” I’m actually fairly convinced that if you selected any random older Mizrachi gentlemen from any random hummusiyya, this war would be over tomorrow in our favor, but I digress.
If you read the news as obsessively as Israelis do, you’re bound to notice some other random stories in between all the missiles and bombs falling. So this week I noticed that in Ireland, they found a medieval book of Psalms from between the years 800 and 1000 perfectly preserved in a bog. Bog, by the way, is a great word. Say it. Bog. They found the book open to a page containing Psalm 83. Now, I’m not one to put stock in signs from above or anything, and I figure if God really wanted to tell us something he could write in flaming letters in the sky and not hide it in a bog in Ireland, but Psalm 83 is an interesting psalm…
O God, keep not your silence; hold not your peace, and be not still, O God.
For your enemies are in an uproar; and those that hate you have lifted up their heads.
They hold crafty converse against your people, and take counsel against your treasured ones.
They have said: ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.’
For they have consulted together with one consent; against you do they make a covenant;
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagrites;
Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Assyria also is joined with them; they have been an arm to the children of Lot. Selah.
There’s some more about divine retribution and such, with some highly recommended metaphors about thistles and fire. So is the man upstairs sending us an ancient message suited to our difficult times, or was it just a serendipitous coincidence dug up in an Irish bog? Who cares? The important thing to is to remember that this shit has been going on without end for thousands of years, and in the end, there is only one common thread: us. Our enemies are in an uproar, those that hate us lift up their heads to cut us off from being a nation, as they have for thousands of years, but we’re still here. So don’t let that pansy Nasrallah get to you – in a few hundred years, nobody will remember Hizbullah, but something tells me you’ll still be able to discuss the pressing matters of the day in an Israeli hummusiyya.