aired March 1, 2014 on Dave’s Gone By. Watch on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87QQA37F1oY&feature=youtu.be
Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of March 2, 2014.
You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, we all want to change the world. But we’re too fearful and set in our ways to do anything. I’m too lazy to change my cable company let alone start a political movement. At my age, I’m lucky if I can start a bowel movement.
But revolutions do still happen. Bloodless ones, like Czechoslovakia. Political ones, like South Africa. Unstable ones, like Egpyt. Musical ones, like Prince and.
It seems every month, some country in the middle east is having a coup, or a march or a toppling or a something. And now, Ukraine is getting in on the action. Its own country since breaking off from Russia in 1991, Ukraine was under the thumb of corrupt Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was a yanuka-bitch to the opposition. What really frosted the Ukranians’ blinis was Yanukovych moving toward closer ties with Mother Russia, whereas the people wanted to throw in with the European Union. Because that’s done so well for Greece and Iceland.
But seriously, how can one not be encouraged when the people of a repressed country want to be more like us – and they get up the courage and organization and bottle rockets to do it. After days of rioting and cease fires – where everyone fired and no one ceased – the instability pulled Yanukovych from power and popped his opposition from prison. It wasn’t a bloodless coup – a couple dozen protestors paid the ultimate price. Well, no, the ultimate price would be having to spend a Siberian winter locked in a room with the hosts of “The View,” but still, blood was shed for the sake of the people’s will.
Meanwhile Vladimir Putin, who pulled off a bloodless Olympics, isn’t taking any chances with his grip on power. He’s having the military run drills along the border with Crimea, because people in the Southern Ukraine, many of whom were ethnic Rooskies, are split between liking Sister Europe or loving Mother Russia. The west is afraid Putin will climb into Crimea, which could lead to a civil war or a re-annexation.
This would be a great loss for the region because Crimea is a noted vacation spot – the Ukrainian Aruba, as it were. Because it’s got mountains and the Black Sea, grassland and caves, there’s something for everybody. It’s like an all-natural Epcot. In fact, back during the Soviet era, this is where workers used to come for R&R, where they could enjoy the salt-sea air and the therapeutic mud. I’m not kidding. You’ve heard of people bathing in hot springs? Crimea is where people go to slather themselves in volcanic mud. If you think that’s a crazy way to attract tourists, just remember, we have Dollywood.
President Obama is taking a wait-and-see approach with Kiev, which could go all sweet and democratic, or turn into a war zone. Kind of like what’s happening with Detroit. Since the Cold War is over, we don’t really have a beef with Russia, and one of the three opposition parties that brought down Yanukovych is anti-Semitic, so who knows if we’ve jumped out of the samovar and into insanity?
All I know is, the way Jews were treated in that part of the world for most of the 20th century makes me wary and somewhat unsympathetic to the plight of the Ukranians. If they become a shining example of freedom? Great. If they have to suffer a bit along the way? Well, Crimea river.
This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from: me Rabbi, U-kraine, Temple
Sons of Bitches in Great Neck, New York.
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