Harish, Israel I very much

May 19th, 2002

Harish, Israel

I very much enjoyed my stay in Ariel. I ride back, however, to Harish for lunch.

Israel is the land of “milk and honey,” and Varshabhanavi is such a wonderful cook that I am only eating once a day at noon. I asked Gunavatar how the youth in such a religious-based country have become so degraded. His answer was simple: “Television!” He explained that although Israel has a national identity as Jews, the people have surprisingly little culture or tradition because most of the residents, or their immediate ancestors, had to leave the culture of their birth to
settle here. For example, there are black Jews from Ethiopia, Indian Jews from India, Iranian Jews from the Middle East, and New York Jews from New York. Although they are all Jews, they are extremely culturally different from one another because their culture has more to do with their country of origin than their place of birth. Gunavatar explains that this consequent void in culture caused by a country of uprooted citizens has left a vacuum conveniently filled by frivolousness and immorality promoted by TV.

Tejyas Prabhu once shared with me his insight that the root of all social problems are communities that are not static. A static community is a community where one’s ancestors have lived, where one lives, and where one’s children will likely live. A static community naturally creates a sense of responsibility in the citizens that a community of transients cannot duplicate. A static community also provides tradition as a vehicle to communicate among the citizens a set pattern of living based on principles.

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