Negative Capacity

Chanoch Ne’eman 20 of Adar 5775 Jerusalem

I think it was Henry James who said one needs a strong negative capacity, i.e. the ability to put up with all the stupidity in the world. Yesterday as I was walking down my block, I read a Chabad bumper sticker affixed to the back side of a street sign. It said, “The King Messiah – just one more good action and he will be here!” I found that encouraging – perhaps if this chabadnik does teshuva and stops vandalizing public property, the King will come.

On Friday, this same street will be closed as the Marathon runners shlepp down it. The city will do a pre-marathon scrub job, at least on the marathon route, so that the city does not give it’s usual littered appearance. It is hard living among dirty people. Really the challenge of life is to find good company, people with good middot. And to try to educate the others.

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It was disheartening, though not surprising, to hear of the secret talks going on three years ago between President Shimon Peres and M. Abbas in Jordan. We thought Mr. Peres must be up to more than running up the President’s Budget expenditure more than three times than his predecessor, but we did not know just what. Why would PM Netanyahu let him do stuff like that? It must go back to some old mutual blackmails, perhaps related to the Rabin Assassination cover-up, or who knows what else.

Hashem strengthen us in our negative capacity!



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