Wednesday, January 7, 2009


The Gaza (by the way, does anyone know why it is referred to in English as Gaza if it is spelled "Aza"? ) War has been going on now for over a week. Bloggers like the Muqata, and A Soldier's Mother have been keeping me posted on the actual facts and emotional side of the war.
As for me- who am I to speak?

I'm newly married, and planning to live here permanently. I feel myself to have a certain lack of maturity with regards to this situation. Who am I to comment when such brave and noble Jewish soldiers fall in battle protecting this beautiful land and its people?

I don't have sons in the army, or brothers. (Cousins, yes.)
I don't live in the communities down south, but I have friends there.
So who am I to speak?

I speak from an outsider who cares. From someone who is shocked and appalled at how the PR handles the situation. I care about our soldiers out there- davening for them, and instituting a separate learning program just for them. I care about the people down south, worry about them, and pray for their well being.

Yet, I feel I lack a certain maturity to be able to discuss it in detail, and with knowledge and assurance. Those soldiers have been in the army since they were 18 years old. They are the mature ones.
The mothers who daven for their children at home- they handle terror and war with aplomb.

And I? I can only try. I hope one day to be able to look back at this and say that I tried to do something, something that I could do myself. And that's maturity to me. Maturity to try to do the right thing, even though sometimes I don't know what that is.
I think it takes bravery and maturity just to live in Israel. Whether or not it's the natural thing to do for you, or something else pulled you here- it took maturity. And that's something to me.


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

The Gaza (by the way, does anyone know why it is referred to in English as Gaza if it is spelled "Aza"? )

The "Ayin" from "Aza" in Arabic is guttural and has a twinge of a "G" to it...

The Taymanim (Yeminites) also have an accented "Ayin" but without the "G" sound.

nmf #7 said...

Thanks! Always wondered that.

Anonymous said...

I was gonna say that...
Kinda like how their chet is more gutteral too. That distinctive back-of-the-throat Arabic pattern that gives you a sudden urge to run very quickly somewhere else.

nmf #7 said...

Some say the pronounciation is actually more accurate.
Who knows- we may all be speaking like the Taimanim one day.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Who knows- we may all be speaking like the Taimanim one day.

I think the Galitziyaners from Hungary would disagree with you!


AidelKnaidel said...

permanently? Wow.

We can only daven. Its hard, to let go and watch Hashem and the soldiers who are in the hands of Hashem take care of everything, but thats what it has to be.

nmf #7 said...

AK- Thanks for the comment.
Yep, permanently, bezrat Hashem. But everything is in G-d's hands- as so aptly stated by you and I- so therefore, I can't say for sure. More on that in another post for another time.
Davening always helps. I find that just the simple act of trusting in Hashem by davening and asking for His help- automatically helps.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

By the way, about the Gaza-Aza linguistic issue, I once thought as Jameel did, but then found out that only in Hebrew is it "a'zah", in Arabic there's a soft "gh" as the first letter in "ghaza" (which sounds a little like a "kh" and "r" sound, but becomes "g" as far as Brittish translaters were concerned).

Also: According to many Sefaradim that's the sound of a "gimmel without a dot").

If you want you can check out this guy talking about it:
(from 4:50 to the end).

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

badforshidduchim: Trust me, the Ashkenazi pronounciation is not the most coveted in the general world either (as "Jewish culure" is generally judged besed on them).

nmf #7 said...

Hatzair- Thanks for the comment! So which is it, the gutteral sound in both Hebrew and Arabic, or only in Arabic? I definitely hear it in the Arabic language, but in Hebrew, I mostly hear only Aza.
Never knew about the Sephardishe Gimmel w/o a dagesh. Thanks!

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Well to be honest, the first letter in "עזה"(Azah) is gutteral in Hebrew, but the first letter in "غزة" (ghaza) is not. Again, that's because, for the most part, the same letters are gutteral and not gutteral in Hebrew, Aramaic Arabic and any other Semitic language. In all of them sounds for the letters like "ח" and "ע" should origionate from the throat, but not for things like a "soft ג"(gh) or a "soft ת"(th), whose sounds origionate in the palette and tongue.

I've always been gung-ho about retaining the semitic sounds of the Hebrew language, even today, not only because of the absurdity of pronouncing a semitic language as a European one, but because I see it as one aspect of a greater problem of the "Europeanization" of the Jews and Israel, which to an extent, in my opinion, might greaten the cultural divide between Israel and it's neighbors, and therefore hamper our relations with them..