And what I love, not without a certain apprehension, is Israel’s popular Hebrew culture: skeptical, free, hybrid, smart. When people say “Jewish state” I think immediately about Caspi, or (and here I am betraying squareness, I know) the poetry of Leah Goldberg, or the drama at Jerusalem’s Khan Theater. The Salieri character in Amadeus had a musical knowledge that was just enough to fully appreciate how far he was from musical genius. My command of Hebrew culture is something like that, good enough to know how little I contribute to it, yet also enough to feel the great privilege of living to see it.
At the fringe of the sky, at the edge of the desert,
There’s a faraway place, full of wildflowers.
A small place—forlorn and deranged—
A small place for worry.
All-that-will-be is spoken of,
And all-that-has-happened is thought,
God sits there and observes, guarding all He has created.
“You are forbidden to pick the flowers of the garden—
You are forbidden to pick the flowers of the garden!”
And he's worried, awfully worried.