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Idyll from the Books


אידיליה מהספרים

Tonight I went to watch The Hobbit, the book I’ve never managed to read. I got the book for my Bat Mitzva and tried to read it several times and each time I would get to page twenty something and get stuck. Films have several advantages, among which is the lack of page twenty something, and so I was happy for an opportunity to finish the Mitzva I started on my Bat Mitzva. I don’t like watching long dark battles with terrible monsters and I tend to suffer actual physical pain throughout. Therefore, just like Bilbo Baggins, I wasn’t thrilled to leave the green and idyllic shire, the tidy little burrow, the calm British homeliness. And yet I didn’t get up and step out of the cinema, and I joined the dark adventure, if only to see the king of the birds carrying the wounded king in his hoofs over the great wide opens of New Zealand, or to see Bilbo telling the gang that yes, he loves his home dearly and misses it very much, but he shall stay beside them and fight so that they also would have a home to return to. Or if only to be able to come back home, once the sights have subsided, and recall things I saw on the screen and were past and gone. In the scene where Saruman showed up in his full future bastardness in the lofty dwelling of the Elves I recalled again watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 2001-2003. These were the years that circumferenced 9/11, and when Saruman the prince of darkness stood in front of Gandalf in the ivory tower on the Cinematheque’s screen I shivered and thought that Saruman looks like Bin Laden, the prince of darkness from Afghanistan. I was notified of the Twin Towers Attack in 2001 with Mili when we were traveling in Connemara district in Ireland. We sat and rested on the top of a green mountain, dipping in idyll that we knew from English literature, when suddenly both our cellphones rang one after the other. On one was her mom, on the other mine, and they both told the same story: two passenger airplanes had crushed into the Twin Towers in NYC one after the other, one tower collapsed, the other is on fire, it looks like a Sci-Fi apocalypse, and unfortunately it isn’t. We sat there together on the summit of idyll, disconnected from civilization, and were notified in an international call that the undisputed capital of the modern world is under an apocalyptic attack. It was very surreal. On the way down from the mountain to the local pub, where Irish villagers sat and watched, instead of the regular soccer game, an American skyscraper caught on fire, I understood that the world had changed forever. I totally fell in love with Connemara on that trip – with the blue bogs, the rocky shore, the little huts, the dry vegetation, the lonesome prairies. The hostel manager called the beautiful area where we cycled The Wilderness. When the bus drove us to our next destination I looked at the deserted mountains and prairies and thought, this place is very safe. This Wilderness has no monsters, Trolls, Orcs or Stone Giants. This Wilderness has no skyscrapers. This Wilderness has no mass terror attacks. This Wilderness is the place to stay. But in the voice of fine flutes, in the voice of lofty horns, I heard my home calling me, my own private shire, my tidy little burrow, in my dangerous little Israel. I knew that the Irish shire is an adventure that must end, and that I must return home, sit by the burning fire with a pipe, look at the flickering flames and miss the idyll I met in mine and Mili’s brave journey to Ireland, an idyll from the books.


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