web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Why I’ve Always Written So Much With Such Intensity And Why I Won’t Stop Now

Barry Rubin

Barry Rubin

http://rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/why-ive-always-written-so-much-with.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+Rubinreports+(RubinReports)

Nothing is stranger than having a normal life and then within a few hours knowing that it might end at almost any moment. That’s what happened to me when I was just diagnosed with what is called inoperable lung cancer. I am still waiting final results of the tests and the choice of therapies.

I have no desire to make this my focus but it’s been suggested that I write something about it that might be of broader interest.

First, for those of us whose understanding of cancer is based on past information, it is very important to understand that a lot has changed. That diagnosis twenty or thirty years ago would have given a person only a few months to live. Today, with many of the new therapies invented, one has a fighting chance. Still, it is tough to have your life expectancy lowered from around twenty years to a minimum of two within moments.

People always asked me why I wrote so much and so intensively. I never told them one of the real reasons: I always expected my life would be limited. My grandfathers died, respectively, at 42 and 44, both of things that could have been cured today. My father died of a heart attack at 62, and his life probably could have been extended many years today by all the new tests and drugs available. But I felt that once I passed that birthday, less than a year ago, I might be living on borrowed time.

They say that when you are fighting cancer that becomes a full-time job in itself. Supported by my truly wonderful family, I’m working on it. Right away one starts paring things down: unsubscribing to lots of things; knowing that I will never again have time for hobbies. The decision to start reading a book is like a major life choice.

And I know I won’t be going canoeing down the Jordan River with an old friend in August. In fact, having passed out briefly about a half-dozen times—though we think we’ve solved that problem—I’ll probably never drive again nor, after cancelling two trips, travel internationally. In fact, the way things are going at the moment, I might never eat solid food again.

The best thing to do is to accept everything calmly—bargaining, hysteria, rage, won’t do any good–and then decide that one is going to fight with the object of beating the disease. Unlike much of political life, this is not caused by malevolent forces.

This is not, however, the only transformative event I’ve had this week. I don’t want this to come out wrong but I have been touched and encouraged by an outpouring of emails from friends, acquaintances, and readers about how much they appreciated my work. Up until now, I’ve really thought that my articles have gone into a void.

As you know, we live in an era where many ideas, much truth, and certainly the kind of things that I think are largely barred from the most prestigious (although daily less so) media and institutions.  We are either ignored or vilified. Now, though, the counter-audience has grown so long and people are so hungry for accuracy and cutting through the nonsense that our ranks have grown into the millions. When someone tells you that you’ve helped them, informed them, encouraged them, or even changed their lives it is an immeasurable feeling.

And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the cost has been worth receiving these messages, it is closer than one might ever believe.

There are some constructs I’ve come up with that I find comforting. Briefly:

Every living thing that has ever existed has died, at least in terms of being on this earth. If they could do it I can do it.

I feel like I have been captured by an enemy force (you all can insert specific names) and they want to execute me. I hope to escape or to be rescued by my friends.

Even if I didn’t have this disease, I could leave life on any day due to many causes without warning.

For 2000 years my ancestors dreamed of returning to their homeland and reestablishing their sovereignty. I have had the privilege of living that dream. How amazing is that?

We have to judge ourselves by whether we’ve lived up to our ideals and done our best. Not by the accumulation of power, wealth or fame; not for failing to achieve the impossible.

A famous Jewish story about that is the tale of Rabbi Zosia who said that he did not expect God to berate him for not having been Moses—who he wasn’t—but for not having been Zosia.

To me, that means we must do the best to be ourselves while trying to make ourselves as good as possible. I’ve really tried to do that. I don’t have big regrets, nor bitterness, nor would I have done things very differently.

And I’ve discovered the brave community of those who are supporting and encouraging each other in the battle against this disease.

Finally, I find myself identifying with a poem by a Turkish writer named Ilhami Bekir that goes like this:

“Neither vineyards, nor gardens

Do I ask.

Nor horses, nor sheep.

Don’t take my soul away,

O God!

I am curious.

I must see how this game ends!”

The game, of course, doesn’t end and I don’t expect to live to see utopia realized. But it would be nice to live long enough to see America and the world pass out from this current dreadful era, to see some restoration of sanity and reality, some kind of victory for goodness, some kind of restoration of intellectual standards, and a higher level of justice.

Some friends tell me they think we’ve turned the corner and that there’s real hope of beating the terrible forces that have messed up our societies and insulted our intelligence and tried to sully our reputations.

That’s something worth living for and fighting for. I hope to do it with you people as long as possible.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

9 Responses to “Why I’ve Always Written So Much With Such Intensity And Why I Won’t Stop Now”

  1. Hersh Starck says:

    Hashem Yirachem and a refuah shleima.

    A suggestion: If you are not already doing it, please consider studying Daf Yomi. I think it is no coincidence that this dreadful diagnosis was revealed at the turn of the new cycle.

    In two months you can complete the entire Masechet Brachos. Another 5 months will give you Masechet Shabbos. Chap -a -rein! Torah is life and if you are "greedy" enough, we will definitely see you on a "completers" podium at the completion of this cycle in another 7 1/2 years, IY"H.

  2. Good rule to live our lives by: "We have to judge ourselves by whether we’ve lived up to our ideals and done our best."

  3. Janet Clare says:

    I'm out here too, and I read and appreciate you, Barry. May HaShem give you an immediate and complete recovery, via the Moshiach even, b"H, so we can all get in on it. : )

  4. Bill Bilek says:

    Your writings have been an inspiration to me, and many that I work with (we met at the SPME Conference last year). It is our fervent hope that Hashem intercedes and gives you refuah shlema, and many more years to do His work, your work, our work, in support of the miracle that is our Jewish State.

  5. Ruth Hirt says:

    How sad, we are vulnerable to ailment and life's vicissitudes. May Adonai touch your body to restore wholeness to you. The gifts HE imbued you with, worked their way through your readers. May HE grant you refuah shleima.

  6. Ruth Hirt says:

    How sad, we are vulnerable to ailment and life's vicissitudes. May Adonai touch your body to restore wholeness to you. The gifts HE imbued you with, worked their way through your readers. May HE grant you refuah shleima.

  7. Ruth Hirt says:

    How sad, we are vulnerable to ailment and life's vicissitudes. May Adonai touch your body to restore wholeness to you. The gifts HE imbued you with, worked their way through your readers. May HE grant you refuah shleima.

  8. Ruth Hirt says:

    Barry Rubin, an uncompromising writer, journalist.

  9. Ruth Hirt says:

    Thank G_d, the Jehovah Rapha, He touched Barry Rubin, HE made him overcome.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Some of the missile fire comes from launchers planted in cemeteries, mosques, schools and hospitals. This is an aerial photo of one such launch in Beit Lahiya earlier this week.
Sleepless in Rishon Lezion, IDF Attacks 150 Targets in Gaza
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Barry Rubin
Youssef Ziedan

The interviewer responds, “There was also Balfour.”

peace_clowns

If the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

Let me make it plain. There will be mass murder, even genocide in Syria.

A large number of pro-Obama and radical or even anti-Israel cadre are Jews.

Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?

Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.

The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.

The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/why-ive-always-written-so-much-with-such-intensity-and-why-i-wont-stop-now/2012/08/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: