And the war keeps going. There were rumors yesterday that Israel had taken out the major Hizbullah outposts in southern Lebanon, but given that there are more rockets falling in northern Israel today, it seems that nothing’s over anytime soon. And now there are rumors that some other Arab and/or Muslim countries might be getting into the game, so who knows how long, and how scary, and how bad this could all go. Of course one major fear is that all of this heavy force on Israel’s part will only further radicalize the civilian population of Lebanon, creating exactly the circumstances that create and strengthen Hizbullah and groups like it. And yet, some of my friends argue, we can’t just let terrorist organizations kidnap soldiers and throw bombs. Me, I just want everybody to stop. I have no policy suggestions, I have no strategic or diplomatic suggestions. I just fear for safety and the lives of people in the North, and the safety and lives of innocent Lebanese civilians (who are, increasingly, refugees). I want… I don’t know what I want. For everybody to have the peace, safety and resources to live happy lives. I don’t know how we get there from here. I really don’t.

(“There are no winners in war,” gacked from Dan.)

Things in my little life are plugging along, I suppose. Friday night there were 80 people davvening Kabbalat Shabbat in my apartment (which is, as you might imagine, not built to house 80 people.) That was an interesting experience–kind of cool, kind of stressful. I was leading mincha as these waves and waves of people came in my front door, making the room tighter and increasingly packed. People were bumping into me as I was going hazarat ha-shatz. I’ve never been that distracted while davvening before. All in all it was, I think, a nice evening, but… whoa.

Shabbos day I spent, having woken up somehow too late to go anywhere for shul, reading this book, which kicked a prodigious amount of butt. Anybody interested in technology’s unintended and unarticulated impact on theology ought check it out–it’s about more than connecting via blogs or using fancy gadgets in a worship setting (which the author is pretty much neutral about–there are ways to do that well and ways to do that poorly, etc) but more about left vs. right brain, interest in narrative vs. abstract concepts, a return to Christian iconography, interest in certain forms of worship or leadership possibly at the expense of others, etc. Reccomended.

Last night I went out, saw some folks I don’t see often, met some new folks. Was fun, though I don’t know why some of my friends find it necessary to start hanging out at 10pm instead of a nice, civilized, 8 or so. Some of us are both old and have work to do the next day, you know….

In the meantime, prayers and more prayers for peace. And back to this chapter. I can do it. I think I can I think I can.

P.S. Why is there suddenly like this sudden increase in people Googling my name lately? The stat counter thingo is going off the charts with this. Who are you people? Long-lost friends who want to make sure I’m not getting blown up, or is this academic, or is this totally random/coincidental, or what? I’m not trying to come off conceited, I’m just curious–particularly if it’s folks in the first category. Leave a note in the comments, willya? (This actually applies to all lurkers–I’d love to hear from you sometime.)

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