- (noun) From Middle Dutch or Middle Low German stripe.
- (verb) From the first one. (cf Dutch strippen)
stripe (plural stripes)
- A long, straight region of a single colour.
- (in the plural) The badge worn by certain officers in the military or other forces.
- (informal) Distinguishing characteristic; sign; likeness; sort.
persons of the same political stripe
- A long narrow mark left by striking with a lash or rod; by extension, such a stroke.
- (weaving) A pattern produced by arranging the warp threads in sets of alternating colours, or in sets presenting some other contrast of appearance.
The use of the slang “stripes” in English has been on my mind recently. It’s a combination of seeing all the soldiers here in Israel with the thought of the meaning of people in uniform, with the stripes of all stripes here in Tzfat.
We just decamped and moved down to Efrat. We were invited to stay in Tzfat to be part of the hillula for the Ari z”l. [Translation: the commemoration of the death in 1572 of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the leader of the Kabbalists of Tzfat. See more about him here http://www.zissil.com/topics/Rabbi-Yitzchak-Luria, if you’d like.]
Obviously, all over Israel there are men and women in uniform. On Tuesday, there were many soldiers and thousands of others who came to pay honor to a young man who returned to Tzfat for the last time.
We wanted to go but we were with a group who were having another experience at that time. We saw all the cars parked at the top of the city, very far away from the cemetery, which gave us an indication of how many people came.
We searched for peace with our group. We entered a cave that is at the top of the Citadel of Tzfat, hidden from sight. Many groups go there, clearly, since someone had been kind enough to leave candles along the path that leads to the opening. We sat there, a group of people who had just met the day before, and sang “Eli Atah v’Odeka” (of which you can see a version on the Youtube) a few times. It did not take me that long to be crying through the singing.
I had thought to write about the contrast of stripes I have been spotting in Israel with the stripes of the military uniform. I will still post some photos for this, but I see that my mind wants to talk about the pain of the war.
Now, here in Israel on Saturday night, it appears as if the troops are looking to finish their job of getting rid of the tunnels in Gaza and pulling back.
The wedding that we hope to attend next week was moved from Netivot (with a high probability of having the wedding in a bomb shelter) to Jerusalem. Pulling back, indeed; you still have to be realistic.
I know that the seniors in the Beit Avot senior home in Tzfat wanted to keep “blowing them to Azazel”, which is the Hebrew term for hell. The response from their group leader was “to Aza!”, the Hebrew word for Gaza.
Let them stay there. Leave us alone.
But I know this is not over, even as Israel states to the world that the tunnels are being destroyed and then they will pull out. How will Hamas and all of these terrorists achieve any kind of paradigm shift to love life more than revenge?
The Hebrew word for uniforms is מַדִים. That is in the plural. In the singular, מַד, it means gauge; measure.
That is the Israeli way. Don’t let anyone tell you different.