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Iraq in Sukkot

If there is one thing we have learned from the Iraq war it’s that the day after revolution is much harder to deal with than the revolution itself. What America is in the process of realizing is that teaching people how to live in freedom is a far greater undertaking than giving them that freedom in the first place. We are now faced with the question: how much responsibility do we have to take for the Iraqis? Is it our job to play God in the Middle East controlling the day-to-day lives of each citizen?

Most scholars explain the reason Sukkot was celebrated after the High Holidays was due to agricultural reasons (it was a harvest holiday). Others however, have suggested a deeper conection between the festivals of Sukkot and Passover. According to Rabbi Irving Greenberg, “On Passover, Jews restage the great event of liberation. Sukkot celebrates the way of liberation–the march across a barren desert to freedom and the Promised land.” On Sukkot we learned how to be a liberated people, how to live in outdoor open huts realizing that freedom entails a certain degree of vulnerability.
Iraqis long ago woke up from their Passover moment and are now living in a culture of Sukkot: vulnerable to all the dangers of freedom. The only difference between them and the Israelites was that Israel had God to protect them and the Iraqis hmmm well…the Iraqis got George Bush. The democracy that has been put up in Iraq is no stronger than a makeshift hut exposed to the winds of the fall season. It remains to be seen whether or not Iraqis will be able to build an infrastructure of trust secure enough to weather the extremist threat that lies around them.

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laura t mushkat

posted October 3, 2007 at 1:19 pm

It amazes me that we think we should still be there. It was made quite clear when we did not find the weapons of mass destruction that our original given reason was done. Ofcourse we felt for various reasons that getting rid of Sadam was a good thing. The people who live there stated thru various speakers that they were grateful and did no longer want non-Muslims occupying the reigon. “Thanks and by.”
We had not take good care to be careful with watching out for the oil fields and there were problems. We stayed too long and there were more problems. We now have a huge problem, and so do they.
They are used to having people telling them what to do and their government is letting our boys and girls do much of the work. We need to leave and take our lumps in the world press. This is not Japan or Germany and if we stay in any portion we will regret it.
It is a horrific problem and I guess you can try to make it simialr to our people’s history but I think you can forget that. I disagree.

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posted October 4, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Begging your pardon, but we did not “liberate” Iraq. We invaded it to get control of their oil resources and now we’re an occupying enemy force. This is not about freedom, it’s about theft. We’re not “teaching” them – or any other country – anything other than that the U.S. is a morally bankrupt nation wiling to ignore international law to enhance the personal wealth of a few oil barons. It’s not our job to play God in the Middle East or anywhere else. Meanwhile, our own military people are getting maimed and killed and our government won’t help them when they return home devastated by what’s happened to them. Nothing spiritual about it – the war is a travesty founded on lies. We never should have gone there, and are certainly not welcome there now.

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