‘The Perilous Realm’

‘The Perilous Realm’

I’ve been reading an essay by Tolkien on fairy stories – which I am not embarrassed to say I love, even at my (illegible) age – and what he calls the Perilous Realm of Faërie. I understand what he means – “true” fairy stories are not about tiny little creatures who can slip inside a flower but potent magical beings like the ones in his “Lord of the Rings.”

Still, the truly Perilous Realm is that of reality – the world of war, misery, and famine, of sickness and untimely death. Charming thoughts for a Sunday afternoon….

Israel is in a Perilous Realm – and has been, of course, for all its life. What it is doing now in Gaza may buy it time, but can it work forever? Hamas is a hydra-headed beast. There will be two haters of Israel, I greatly fear, for every one cut down.

About 20 years ago I was in Israel, actually on the Temple Mount. An Arab mother and her child, a little boy, were next to me. She understood that I was a tourist from America, smiled at me bitterly, and gave the boy his instructions. He drew a magen David on the ground with a geranium blossom (did you know that they leave traces of red?) and then, with her encouragement, stomped up and down on it. I’ve often wondered what happened to that boy. She taught him to hate. He was her instrument.

A Perilous Realm for all within it….