‘Climbing the Stairway’ and reading the ‘handwriting on the wall’ – we know where the ladder is – but where is the wall and what is the meaning of what is written there?
Here’s where: Climbing the Stairway to Heaven
There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to Heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to Heaven
There’s a sign on the wall, but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, makes me wonder
There’s a feeling I get when I look to the West
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, really makes me wonder
Jacob on the Run /’out of the frying pan into the fire’/Parshat Vayetzei/Genesis 28:10 – 16 –
וַיֵּצֵ֥א יַעֲקֹ֖ב מִבְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ חָרָֽנָה׃ Jacob left Beer-sheba, and set out for Haran.
וַיִּפְגַּ֨ע בַּמָּק֜וֹם וַיָּ֤לֶן שָׁם֙ כִּי־בָ֣א הַשֶּׁ֔מֶשׁ וַיִּקַּח֙ מֵאַבְנֵ֣י הַמָּק֔וֹם וַיָּ֖שֶׂם מְרַֽאֲשֹׁתָ֑יו וַיִּשְׁכַּ֖ב בַּמָּק֥וֹם הַהֽוּא׃ He came upon a certain place and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of that place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place.
וַֽיַּחֲלֹ֗ם וְהִנֵּ֤ה סֻלָּם֙ מֻצָּ֣ב אַ֔רְצָה וְרֹאשׁ֖וֹ מַגִּ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמָ֑יְמָה וְהִנֵּה֙ מַלְאֲכֵ֣י אֱלֹהִ֔ים עֹלִ֥ים וְיֹרְדִ֖ים בּֽוֹ׃ He had a dream; a stairway*stairway Or “ramp”; others “ladder.” Heb. sullam. was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and messengers of God were going up and down on it.
וְהִנֵּ֨ה יְהֹוָ֜ה נִצָּ֣ב עָלָיו֮ וַיֹּאמַר֒ אֲנִ֣י יְהֹוָ֗ה אֱלֹהֵי֙ אַבְרָהָ֣ם אָבִ֔יךָ וֵאלֹהֵ֖י יִצְחָ֑ק הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֤ר אַתָּה֙ שֹׁכֵ֣ב עָלֶ֔יהָ לְךָ֥ אֶתְּנֶ֖נָּה וּלְזַרְעֶֽךָ׃ And standing beside him was יהוה, who said, “I am יהוה, the God of your father Abraham’s [house] and the God of Isaac’s [house]: the ground on which you are lying I will assign to you and to your offspring.
וְהָיָ֤ה זַרְעֲךָ֙ כַּעֲפַ֣ר הָאָ֔רֶץ וּפָרַצְתָּ֛ יָ֥מָּה וָקֵ֖דְמָה וְצָפֹ֣נָה וָנֶ֑גְבָּה וְנִבְרְכ֥וּ בְךָ֛ ל־מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָאֲדָמָ֖ה וּבְזַרְעֶֽךָ׃ Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants.
From the NYT: of Leopoldstadt interest / Is it identity or is it not . . .
And this just in — from the Parasha: “All the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants.”
Nov. 28, 2022
Tom Stoppard Fears the Virus of Antisemitism Has Been Reactivated
(My question/My note: Does he understand this ‘recurring phenomenon’ as a symptom of economics)?
“There are lines in the play,” says Tom Stoppard, thinking back to a few years ago, when he was working on “Leopoldstadt,” “that land in a very different way now.” In the time since Stoppard wrote his decades-spanning tragedy about a Viennese Jewish family ultimately doomed by the Holocaust — indeed, even since “Leopoldstadt” opened on Broadway in October — antisemitism has again been worming its way out of the margins and into public view. Which means, as Stoppard suggests, that the historical resonances of his play, scheduled to run through March, have only grown deeper and darker. “In a scene that takes place in 1955,” says the great playwright, perhaps our greatest, now 85 years old, “the young Englishman says to the Jewish man, ‘It can’t happen again.’ It’s almost a foolish remark now. Whereas when the play was being written, I didn’t think of it as being a foolish remark.”
I hate to ask such a blunt question, but apparently, this is where we are these days: What do you make of the increase in antisemitism that we’ve been seeing? Does it feel like more of the historical same or is something different going on? I don’t profess to know anything that anybody else might not know, but my own feeling is that marginal social attitudes never go away. They’re something like a latent virus that becomes activated under certain conditions. For my money, which is the mot juste in this sentence, it has a lot to do with the polarity in the economics in America and Britain — the inequality. When the economics that are supposed to bind us together become so divisive, anger breaks through. This virus wakes up, and it’s a displacement of the anger that is always lying underneath. As I listen to myself talking like a pundit, I don’t actually know if any of that is true. It’s just an intuition I have. It’s as if at the bottom of the mythic melting pot, which your nation wants to be, there’s a deposit of sediment that isn’t buying into the idea of being in the pot. It stays silent and mostly invisible until you poke it with a stick and suddenly, as you say, here we are. The last thing: My friend David Baddiel wrote a book called “Jews Don’t Count” —
A few years ago, yeah. I’m familiar with it. Oh, good. Then as you know its point is that antisemitism is not being properly acknowledged, and that Jews are not being properly acknowledged as being one of the many oppressed minorities. Jews don’t seem to count, David Baddiel objects. He’s a friend of mine, and I have arguments with him about various things. He didn’t need me to point out that one doesn’t think of Jews as being an oppressed minority because, paradoxically, the objection is that they’re altogether too successful. When I was writing the play, there was a kind of local disturbance concerning antisemitism in the British Labour Party, and it didn’t seem to be an overriding problem, and I kind of ignored it. It seemed to be not widespread. I’m not sure whether that would apply anymore.
To read the entire Stoppard interview in the NY Times – link