Sunday – an almost normal tourist day
A short walk from our hotel in the Marais area of Paris to the Jewish museum of art & history – up the street (Rue de Temple).
A sensitive exhibit of artifacts of Jews in France (including deportation documents during the Holocaust): before the Reformation persecutions; during 1800’s; during the Dreyfus Affair, and celebrating the establishment of the nation of Israel. Art and culture as a joyous tribute to faith-based civilization. Anti-Semitism as an ebb and flow of horror and bizarre identification of difference.
What is the a sane reaction to unreasoned horror and hatred?
What is the reaction to irrational & nonrational events beyond reason? Events of random pain & death (Frank Barham)? Behavior borne of hatred? Attacks by humans? Attacks by demons?
How does one answer? Prayer? Abandonment of faith? Addition of mysticism & magic to a belief in the unknowable essence of the universe?
Just as Frank’s death has made normal inconveniences seem trivial, the collective agonies of the diaspora and intermittent persecutions of the Jews have given a longer view to the inconsequential difficulties that harass us all. And, to the extent that the horrific persecutions are not mere accidents, but the evil that has plagued mankind throughout recorded history, a mere bike trek for a vacation seems frivolous.
But, a journey of any consequence has unintended resonance with the world beyond static reality and current understanding. We travel to learn – even when the lessons are hard.